GSTOS founder Virginia Vanore passed away on Thursday Morning, July 5, 2012 at age 91. She is survived by her husband, Joe Vanore, their four children, Mary Beth, Joe, Theresa and Arthur, six grandchildren, and a great grandson.
Born in Paterson, NJ, in 1921, Jinny served in WWII as a 1st Lieutenant Army nurse from 1943 to 1946 stationed in Normandy France. She later became a school nurse in Fair Lawn, N.J., where she met her husband, Joe. She was a member of the American Legion Post 53 of Ridgewood, NJ, and the Catholic Daughters of America.
As early as age 10, Jinny was playing music for others. She accompanied her younger singing sister, Betty and they won a contest. As she grew, she and her two sisters took piano lessons for many years together. Mr. Benz, the piano teacher called the three sisters, “The famous Vogel sisters who studied under me”.
Over the early years, Jinny evolved into an excellent Church and Theatre Organist. Many GSTOS members appreciated her playing. At home in Ridgewood, NJ she enjoyed her Reproducing Ampico Piano, her Estey Minuet pipe organ (which first introduced her to pipes), and giving organ lessons on her Hammond. On a one year teacher exchange to Hawaii, she served as a church organist.
She later served for many years as organist at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel RC Church in Ridgewood, NJ, at St. Catharine’s RC Church in Glen Rock NJ, and as House Organist at the 2/7 Ben Hall Memorial Wurlitzer at the Lafayette Theatre, Suffern, NY.
The Vanore’s “Ah Hah” Theatre Organ moment occurred when they were introduced by Frank Cimmino to the sounds of Don Baker playing at the Paramount Theatre in New York. From then on they were hooked. Their children still joke about their fervor, saying “It’s 10 o’clock. Do you know where your parents are?”
Jinny and her husband Joe were two of the four founding members of GSTOS, calling the first organizational meeting at the Rahway Theatre in October of 1971. Jinny was editor of Pedals and Pipes, the GSTOS newsletter for almost 20 years. She was an integral member of a number of the GSTOS organ crews, and was responsible for many of us joining GSTOS.
Jinny was the unofficial GSTOS historian. Her home is filled with rooms of Theatre Organ memorabilia. Joe brought two of her photo albums to a recent Lake Hopatcong picnic, and members laughed while they reminisced. Her photos and captions told the GSTOS story from the beginning.
Jinny was also well known at the national level, having attended many national and regional ATOS theatre organ conventions over the years. She enjoyed making friends with other Theatre Organ enthusiasts and organists, and traveling around the country to play Theatre Pipe Organs in many public venues and private homes.
Our sincere condolences go out to Joe and the family. Jinny is irreplaceable, and will be truly missed.
Remembrances of Jinny
by Michael Cipolletti
In the early days of GSTOS, we would have to wait until the movies finished before we could get into a theatre like the Beacon in NYC or the Pascack in Westwood, or the Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel (Broadway Theatre) in West New York. We’d work on the organ from 11 PM until 3 or 4 in the morning. I remember sometimes the sky was getting light as we’d be leaving the theatre Jinny and Joe coined the nickname, “Midnight Millionaires” for the crew/chapter members. We had these palaces all to ourselves for a few hours a week. Jinny would show up with a cardboard box holding a coffee urn, Entennman’s cakes, paper products and a table cloth that we spread out on anything we could find. Joe would carry the tools and we were in business!