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COLUMBUS — State and U.S. flags flew at half staff over the Statehouse on Wednesday where the late Gov. John Joyce “Jack” Gilligan will be remembered next week.
Mr. Gilligan, the liberal Democrat who served as Ohio’s 62nd governor from 1971 to 1975, died Monday at 92. He is perhaps best known for ushering passage of the state’s first income tax through a Republican-controlled General Assembly.
Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, also in office one term from 2007 to 2011, counted Mr. Gilligan — a former congressman, Cincinnati city councilman, Cincinnati school board member, instructor of literature at Xavier University, and World War II Navy veteran — as an inspiration.
“I admired him as governor, and my admiration increased in his post-gubernatorial career, especially his decision to serve on the school board in Hamilton County,” he said. “The thing I most appreciate about him is that he gave Ohio the income tax. I hate to think about the condition the state would likely be in if not for that really courageous action and significant accomplishment.
“Ohio and Ohioans have benefited as a result of what he did,” Mr. Strickland said. “It’s almost impossible to overstate the importance of what he accomplished in a single term.”
Services commemorating Mr. Gilligan will be held next week. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church at 2900 Woodburn Ave. in Cincinnati’s East Walnut Hills neighborhood.
The Gilligan family will greet visitors later from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the downtown National Underground Railroad Freedom Center at 50 E Freedom Way.
Details have yet to be released about the Statehouse memorial service that will follow the next day. Statehouse flags will continue to fly at half staff until after the service.
The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the Hospice of Cincinnati at 4360 Cooper Rd., Cincinnati, Ohio 45242, or the John J. Gilligan Scholarship, Center for the American Dream, at Xavier University, 3800 Victory Pkwy., Cincinnati, Ohio 45207-1221.
Among Mr. Gilligan’s survivors is his daughter, Kathleen Sebelius. When she became governor of Kansas in 2003, they became the first father-daughter gubernatorial team in the country. Ms. Sebelius is now working to implement President Obama’s Affordable Care Act as his secretary of health and human services.
Mr. Gilligan is also survived by his second wife of 13 years, Dr. Susan Fremont, and four children by his late first wife, Mary Kathryn Dixon.