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In Memoriam

In Memoriam

In Memoriam: John Gioia

People who knew John Gioia know all about his illustrious military and corporate careers – how he was a colonel in
the Air Force, how he founded a multi-million dollar
business, Robbins-Gioia, in his house with just eight associates. We at Marymount University knew him as a member of our Board of Trustees and chair of the Board’s Development Committee – but most importantly as a wonderful man with a larger-than-life personality. And this
is what else we knew:

There was never a time when one mentioned John Gioia’s name that someone didn’t say “What a great guy.” Seeing him produced an automatic smile. He was funny,
movie-star handsome, intelligent, creative, loyal to his
friends from Brooklyn, proud of his Italian heritage,
generous, and with all of these assets he still was unaffected. His knowledge in many areas was extensive; it ranged from complex business matters to how to marinate seafood for salad.
John loved his cars, the USO, everything Italian, Landini’s, his son Eric, his daughter-in-law Piper, his adored wife Patty, his many friends, and his three grandchildren. He once said, “I didn’t know how much I could love until I had grandchildren.”

As chair of the Board’s Development Committee, John worked hard to make Marymount’s Campaign for Excellence and Distinction successful. He willingly met with prospective donors, offered ideas, and followed through. John successfully led Marymount through the quiet phase of the campaign, where we reached 70% of our goal. Yet he was always complimentary, giving the Development Office credit even when he himself had successfully moved the prospect to donor status. John was unable to attend the campaign kick-off dinner, yet the success we celebrated there was also his success.

We at Marymount University miss John’s guidance, his humor, and the constant twinkle in his eye. The Italians have an expression, “Un uomo dell'animo nobile e generosa.” Perfect for John Gioia. He was a giant among men.
  • Paula DeWolfe Bucklin, AA ’69
  • M. Katherine Crittenden, AAS ’64
  • Jacob Davis, BBA ’83
  • Theresa Yoder Freisen, BBA ’86
  • Emmelene Gura, BBA ’82
  • Patricia Carbino Keller, AAS ’64
  • Pamela Brewer Kerr, AAS ’77
  • Marianne Lanigan, AAS ’71
  • Sharon Crowley Martin, AA ’63
  • Joanne Pinheiro, BA ’02
  • Mae Alice Wales Scott, HS ’56
  • Hubert Daniel Thompson, MA ’90
  • Esther Jean Burnham Waters, BA ’86
  • Marjorie Avery Willard, former Marymount faculty member