The family of Virginia (Ginie) Cassin cordially invite dear friends and neighbors to join us for her Memorial Mass and Celebration of Life. Services will be held at St. Edmund Church, 188 S. Oak Park Ave., on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 11 a.m. A gathering will follow, location to be announced.

Virginia Cassin, 96, of Oak Park, died on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. Her last days and hours were spent in the peace and comfort of her home at Northern Lakes Senior Living, in Baxter, Minnesota. Five of Ginie’s eight children were gathered near her bedside. Her departure was sweet and without pain.

Born to Maude Hinckley Robie and Theodore Mead Robie, on April 13, 1924 in Beloit, Wisconsin, after a brief residence in Dallas, Texas, the family moved to Oak Park. There she met and married her sweetheart, William A. (Bill) Cassin, who had just returned from World War II military duty in Europe.

Life was full of excitement and joy as Ginie and Bill were blessed with eight children. Duty to church and community were of lifelong interest to both of them. In their early years as parents, Ginie and Bill were active team leaders in the Christian Family Movement (CFM), and the CANA Conference in St. Edmund Parish in Oak Park.

Eventually the call to civil rights activism found Ginie joining the League of Women Voters and the Community Welfare Council of Oak Park, as well as the National Conference of Christians and Jews (NCCJ). In the 1970s, the citizens of Oak Park elected Ginie to the position of village clerk, a position she held for 20 years. Not only was she the first woman to hold that position in Oak Park, she was also the first woman to become a member of Rotary International of Oak Park.

After “retirement,” Ginie and Bill became actively involved members of the Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park. They spent tireless hours helping the foundation purchase and renovate the Hemingway birthplace, which eventually became an important destination for Hemingway pilgrims.

After 90+ years in the Chicago area, Ginie joined her daughter, Sheila MacLaughlin, and sons, Patrick and Sean Cassin in Minnesota. Her two years as a resident of Northern Lakes Community were comfortable and enjoyable. Until COVID came along, she enjoyed the friendship of many dear neighbors as well as the happiness of gathering with her extended family of children, grandchildren and great-grandkids in the Brainerd Lakes area. She filled many lives with love and joy.

Ginie is survived by her eight children: Michael (Barbara) Cassin, Patrick Cassin, Sharon Cassin Frame, Sheila (Rick) MacLaughlin, Timothy (Marcia) Cassin, Sean Cassin, Brian (Donna) Cassin and Kieran (Jeri) Cassin. Eighteen young adults will miss their grandma as well as 26 great-grandkids.

Ginie was preceded in death by her husband, Bill; her parents, Maude and Ted Robie; her brother, Bill Robie; and her nephew, David Brown Robie.

Donations may be made in memory of Ginie as follows: 

To the Virginia Cassin Rotary Fund, 1049 Lake St. #204, Oak Park, IL 60301.

The Virginia Cassin-Sr. Michelle Germanson Rotary Fund Grant was established by the Rotary Club of Oak Park-River Forest with the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation, a tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization, in 2020 to honor the memory of two of its most dynamic female members. Virginia (Ginie) Cassin was the first female admitted to the Rotary Club of Oak Park-River Forest in 1988 and was recognized throughout the village for her charm, an upbeat can-do attitude and her skillful persuasiveness. Sister Michelle Germanson, O.P. joined Rotary in 1992 while serving as the president of Trinity High School. She was known for her determination, her energetic spirit and her keen sense of humor. The Rotary Club of Oak Park-River Forest seeks to honor the legacy of these two women by providing an opportunity for young female students, grades 6-8, to explore areas of learning outside of their classroom that will help each girl develop their talents, interest and vision of self, who, without financial assistance, would be unable to have this opportunity.

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