St. Virginia

Opinion: Editorials

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It was way back in 1993 that Virginia Cassin retired as Oak Park's village clerk after multiple terms. At the time, the Journal's editorial page dubbed her "St. Virginia." It was just a bit in jest, a nod to the high regard in which she was held. 

Ginie Cassin was the best of Oak Park. A genuine friend to everyone. The ultimate connector of those with power to those on the outs. A wonderful listener. A determined advocate for causes she gave her full heart to. Early on, before being elected village clerk, that public cause was open housing. In office, it was transparent government. And in her long retirement, it was cementing the place of Ernest Hemingway in a village that never knew just what to make of its favorite son once removed. 

Ginie moved from her house on Grove, a home where she and Bill raised an actual passel of kids, in 2018. The move was to Minnesota where some of those kids had landed. She died last week at the determined age of 96. 

This village would do well to once more aspire to her generous spirit, her gracious ways, her easy smile and laugh, and her ability to persuade. 

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Reader Comments

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Bill Maxwell  

Posted: October 24th, 2020 2:26 PM

I did not know Virginia Cassin personally, although I certainly knew it was her with her friendly smile and was the only name that stood out in Oak Park government. I think Oak Park's current Village Clerk Vicki Scaman has the integrity to reestablish the disconnect as the next Village President. Learn about all the candidates and how well they have already performed representing Oak Park

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: October 24th, 2020 10:00 AM

As the OP board deliberates both the place of the village clerk's office in local governance and the necessity of transparency in that governance, it would do well to consciously consider Ginny Cassin's example.

Tom Wheeler  

Posted: October 24th, 2020 9:32 AM

I'm very saddened to hear of Virginia Cassin's passing. Years ago, we worked together when I served as an Oak Park Park District Commissioner and as a member of Oak Park's Planning Commission. For many years, Ginie, and our families, were part of the wonderful St. Edmund Catholic Church community. Ginie was a terrific human being, a kind compassionate influential community leader, a thoughtful visionary, Oak Park's most enthusiastic cheerleader, and was absolutely everything that is good about Oak Park. Ginie, on behalf of a grateful community, thank you for a job well done. May you rest in well-deserved Peace. Tom Wheeler

Paul Oppenheim  

Posted: October 22nd, 2020 11:49 AM

Ginnie Cassin was one of those rare people who could twist your arm to do things you didn't really want to do, and you still liked her. I was on the old Cul de Sac Committee when the chairman's term expired. Ginnie asked me to take the job, but I hesitated, so she said "How about Acting Chairman?" That didn't sound so onerous, so I said okay. Got me! But she was such a sweetheart I didn't mind.

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