Friday, April 16, 2004

Marietta Ginocchio, 64, heeded JFK's call

Stalwart of county Democratic Party

By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

HYDE PARK - Marietta Ginocchio, secretary of the Hamilton County Democratic Party and former chair of the 4th Democratic Ward (Hyde Park) died Wednesday of cancer at Christ Hospital. The Hyde Park resident was 64.

"Marietta was one of the rocks on which the local Democratic Party was built," said Tim Burke, Democratic Party co-chairman. "

Impelled to enter public service by John F. Kennedy's vision of a "New Frontier," Ms. Ginocchio had an "indomitable spirit that made her an inspiration," said her brother, Ralph Ginocchio of Hyde Park. "She showed everyone around her what optimism and a strong personal resolve could do."

She graduated from the Clifton Academy of the Sacred Heart and went on to the University of Cincinnati to study anthropology and political science.

"She would go out to Clermont County, to the Indian mounds, and do a lot of digs out there. She did that through the '70s," said her friend, Carol Sanger. "She was incredibly intelligent and well-read, and was fascinating to talk to about any range of topics."

Ms. Ginocchio was in college when Kennedy was elected, and she thrilled to his words imploring citizens to think about service to their country.

Ms. Ginocchio landed a job in 1962 with the U.S. Information Agency as administrator of the African Division. She was in Washington for Kennedy's funeral.

In 1966, she went to Saigon to work as a public information officer at the U.S. Embassy. At the time, civilian women were not permitted to go to South Vietnam to work, so she had to enter the country as a volunteer under the auspices of the Red Cross. She spent nine months visiting GIs before being "hired" by the U.S. Information Agency.

Ms. Ginocchio returned to Cincinnati in 1969 and began her involvement with the Democratic Party. When Thomas Luken entered the House of Representatives in 1974, she became manager of his Cincinnati office.

Ms. Ginocchio was a founder and board member of Hyde Park Neighborhood Council. She was on the boards of the Hyde Park Center for Older Adults and Santa Maria Community Services.

From 1982 until her death, Ms. Ginocchio was office manager for an eight-state region of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

She was one of the 200 Greatest Cincinnatians honored during the city's bicentennial in 1988.

She is also survived by brothers Charles of Hyde Park and James of Anderson Township; and a sister, Susanna Kelly of Anderson Township.

Visitation is 4-8 p.m. Sunday at Gilligan Funeral Home, 2926 Woodburn Ave. Mass of Christian burial is 10 a.m. Monday at St. Mary Church, 2845 Erie Ave.

Memorials: Santa Maria Community Services, 639 Steiner Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45204 or Stepping Stones Center, 5650 Given Road, Cincinnati, OH 45243.

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