Marlborough, MA --- The New England Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association lost one of its brightest stars, when John "Jack" Ginnetti, Jr., 80, died Oct. 31, 2016.
For 50-plus years, he was a member of the chapter and was as committed a sports writer as anyone could ask for. His newspaper career began in the mid 1950s in the Worcester, Mass., area and continued for many years, until he finally retired, but the urge was still there, so he continued to cover harness racing. It was his life, writing story after story about the races or personality profiles.
He loved his Marlborough native harness racing family, the Hogans, dad Jim and son Jack. and followed them incessantly to keep the neighborhood aware of how the family was doing. He was always at the track, whether it be Rockingham Park, Foxboro Raceway, or the present day Plainridge Racecourse. Mr. Ginnetti was always looking for a good story and he would always find one.
In his New England Chapter, and it was his, he kept the chapter alive when it looked like the chapter would be coming to an end. He at one time or another held every office and was well respected by his chapter members as well as the national members that he would meet at the annual national awards banquet, as chapter directors. He attended with his good friend, chapter secretary/treasurer Joe Vaccaro, along with their wives.
To show how much of a positive effect he had on all of his peers, he was named the USHWan of the year in 1997, then he was inducted into the New England Chapter's Hall of Fame in 2001 and finally his ultimate recognition award was when he was inducted into the Communicators Hall of Fame in 2006. That award he cherished more than any other award. It meant not only did his peers enjoy him as a human being, but his ability to put his pen to the paper and create very interesting articles showed how much respect they had for him and his talents.
His biggest crushing moments were when his wonderful wife Mary Ann passed away in July 2012, after being married for 51 years, followed by his son Jay's passing in November 2013.
He is survived by his brother Richard (Janet).
The John P. Rowe Funeral Home Inc., 57 Main St., Marlborough, MA 01752 will be in charge of the services, with visiting hours on Thursday (Nov. 3) from 5-8 p.m. Mass will be held at 10 a.m. in St. Mathias Church, 409 Hemenway St., Marlborough, Mass. Burial will follow at Evergreen Cemetery, Marlborough, Mass.
Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of one's choice.
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