Virginia R. “Ginnie” Massino (nee Streeter), age 92 , died Sunday, November 16, 2014, at Mitchell Manor, West Allis, from complications related to dementia. In hospice care for six months prior to her death, Ginnie passed peacefully in her sleep.
She leaves her son, James (Marsha) Massino; daughter, Sally Stanton; grandchildren Jill Massino, Casey Massino, and Katerina Stanton; and two great-grandchildren, Sofia and Sebastian St. John. She is also survived by her sister Judy (Tom) Kritner, nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends. Ginnie was preceded in death by her husband Edward P. Massino, a World War II veteran; her parents, Floyd B. (1978) and Mary Ann (Backes) (1983) Streeter, her son John P. Massino (January 6, 2014), and siblings Geraldine Kohloff (2007) and Richard Streeter (2008).
Born March 5, 1922 in Milwaukee, Ginnie married Lt. Edward “Eddie” P. Massino, on July 5, 1944. Ginnie loved to tell stories about her dashing pilot husband and their exciting honeymoon in Texas and New York, including a visit to the famous jazz clubs of NYC and of course, a stop at Niagara Falls. Following World War II, Eddie took up the family plumbing trade (his late grandfather founded the business) but soon struck out on his own as a contractor for commercial and industrial accounts. A former Army Air Corps pilot, Eddie loved to fly light aircraft and was an avid outdoorsman and woodcrafter. He designed and built the couple’s first vacation home at Legend Lake, near Keshena, Wisconsin.
Ginnie was a lifelong learner and educator, nearly completing an Associate’s Degree in Children’s Literature at Milwaukee Area Technical College, and simultaneously pursuing a career as a paraprofessional in the field of education. She worked as a classroom paraprofessional in the Milwaukee Public Schools for more than a decade, at Silver Spring School on Green Bay Avenue. After raising three children and retiring in 1980 to Keshena, Wisconsin, on the Menominee Indian Reservation, Ginnie and Eddie enjoyed being “snowbirds,” living in their home on Legend Lake most of the year, and spending the coldest winter months in Texas or Florida. Ginnie and Eddie were married for 42 years.
Following Eddie’s untimely death in 1987, Ginnie continued to live at Legend Lake year-round. She came out of retirement to work for the Shawano-Gresham School District and was employed at several different elementary and middle schools as a tutor for immigrant students and also as a classroom and library media aide. Ginnie remained an active member (until 2001) of St. Michael Catholic Church, Keshena, where she was a substitute CCD teacher and Junior Achievement volunteer. Ginnie also attended an informal women’s Bible study group at Legend Lake for more than 20 years.
Throughout her years at Legend Lake (1980-2001), Ginnie enjoyed fishing, boating, bird-watching, handcrafts, and baking – especially cookies. Then and later, when she lived in Shawano, Wisconsin, (2001-2007) Ginnie was a tireless volunteer for the Shawano Community Hospital Auxiliary, helping in the gift shop and knitting caps for preemies and newborns. She served as an adult literacy tutor and a board member for the Shawano County Literacy Council, and was involved with SCARTA, the Shawano County Area Retired Teachers Association, for many years.
In 2007, Ginnie moved back to the Milwaukee area, residing at Mitchell Manor, West Allis, until the time of her death. Although she suffered from progressively debilitating Alzheimer’s disease and congestive heart failure in her final decade, Ginnie continued to volunteer and spread her love of learning and books as long as she was able. One of her favorite sayings was, “If you have a book, you have a friend.” She was known for her hospitality, friendliness, and welcoming smile, as well as for the “feisty” independent attitude that was her hallmark.
A memorial service for family and friends is planned for Sunday, January 11, 2015, at the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee.
Memorial gifts to honor Ginnie may be directed to:
Shawano County Literacy Council
Address: P.O. Box 577, 1263 S Main St
Shawano, WI 54166
or to an educational charity of your choice.