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Funeral For Former Ohio Gov. John Gilligan

Funeral services were held today for former Ohio Governor John Gilligan, who died last week at age 92.  Gilligan, a Cincinnati native, spent much of his life in public service.  He was in the US Navy in World War II, earning a silver star for bravery.  Gilligan served seven terms on Cincinnati City Council from the early 1950s to mid 1960s.  The Democrat also served one term in the U-S House of Representatives, and was Governor from 1971-75.
Under Gilligans leadership as Governor, the Ohio Legislature enacted the states first income tax, helping Ohio out of a financial hole, but also perhaps helping insure Gilligans defeat when he ran for re-election.  Later, in his 80s, when most politicians were retired, Gilligan served two terms on the Cincinnati School Board.  Education was a key issue for Gilligan, who also taught English at Xavier University in Cincinnati, and was the first Director of the Institute for Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, his alma mater.
Gilligans daughter, Kathleen Sebelius, is currently the U-S Secretary of Health and Human Services.  Previously, she was Governor of Kansas, making Gilligan and Sebelius the only father-daughter governor combination in American history.  Sebelius said she remembered going door to door with her father as he campaigned for various offices, but he never pushed her into politics.   Sebelius said her dad helped her campaign in Kansas, and was there election night when I won. It was very special.  For my first inaugural, I wore the dress that had been made for my mother at his inaugural. Nobody had seen it for awhile, and it brought tears to everbodys eyes, but it was a way to have her with us that night.
The funeral mass was at St. Francis DeSales Church in Walnut Hills, followed by a visitation with the family at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.  There will be a program about John Gilligans life and career tomorrow, at the State Capitol in Columbus from 1030 to 1230 pm.

Photo: Getty Images



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