Gregory J. Wrinn Sr.

March 18, 1928 - November 14, 2009
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Obituary

Gregory J. Wrinn, Sr., who taught music to generations of Ludlow students and together with his wife Shirley, enriched the lives of countless others, died peacefully in Wilbraham MA on November 14. He was 81.

Born and raised in Meriden, CT, (son of the late Owen Eugene and Elizabeth Extelina Trixie MarcAurele Jubenville Wrinn) he learned to appreciate music from an early age from his father, a blind piano and organ player who directed the local church choir and accompanied silent movies in theaters. He was a 1945 graduate of Meriden High School.

After splitting time in his formative years between playing baseball in the same Connecticut factory league as Jimmy Piersall and managing his own band “Trumpet and his Band,” Wrinn enlisted in the U.S. Army at the end of WWII and served in Italy, touring with the USO Band and playing the trumpet for various ceremonies and events for the troops stationed in the region.

After leaving the service, he studied music at Shenandoah Conservatory where he would later meet his wife of 55 years, the late Shirley Kunkel of Norton VA. After graduation, he taught music in Lynchburg, VA before moving to Ludlow in 1957. He studied piano at the Eastman Conservatory in Rochester NY and later earned a Masters Degree at Westfield State College.

Wrinn was an institution in Ludlow, guiding the schools’ choral and musical curriculum for 34 years. He was known for his dry wit and his insistence on quality performances by listening, blending, and singing in tune. He taught music history and music theory and brought an appreciation for quality music from all centuries to students that ranged from 16th century madrigals to contemporary pieces that described the horrors of war.

He conducted several concerts annually, and produced musicals such as Brigadoon, Carousel, South Pacific, Oklahoma, Bye Bye Birdie, Sound of Music, and Hello Dolly, in addition to countless Senior Shows and special programs.

Many of Wrinn’s students were awarded positions in Massachusetts Music Educator’s District Choral Festivals, All-State Conferences, and All-Eastern United States Honors Choruses. He also assisted with various productions put on by Ludlow residents both serious and whimsical. He once turned down a lucrative offer to lead the Brookline, MA music department in order to stay with the people and town he loved.

He was a member of the Mass. Music Educators Association and sang with the Springfield Symphony Chorus. He received the Man of the Year Award from the Ludlow Grange in 1989.

His students were forever loyal to him throughout their lives and later as Ludlow residents, would show up to pack Selectmen’s meetings whenever budget cuts threatened his department. Presenting music education as a serious subject that reflected universal truths guiding students throughout their lives was always his goal.

His retirement in 1991 was marked by several governmental proclamations, a note from Senator Ted Kennedy, and a parade down Center St. led by Miss Ludlow and the Saloio family band. He spent his later years conducting an occasional alumni concert and teaching piano for students ranging in age from seven to 70.

He is survived by his son Joe and his wife Julie of Lynn, MA, and his son Bill and his wife Linda, of Gloucester, MA; four grandchildren, Corey, Myles, Jamison and Velia Wrinn; two sisters, Rose McCarver and Evelyn Bampton, both of Wallingford, CT; and several nieces and nephews. Wrinn was the brother of the late Owen E. Wrinn, Edith Rudolph, Virginia Drescher, and Gertrude Lindsay. He was also grandfather of the late Catherine B. Byrne Wrinn.

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Service Schedule

Service Information

Funeral services celebrating his life will be Saturday, November 21 with family and friends asked to gather at 10:45 AM for a prelude at St. Mary of the Assumption Church East St. Ludlow. A Liturgy of Christian Burial will be offered by Fr, John Connor at 11 AM Internment with his wife will be at a later date at the Island Pond Cemetery.

Island Pond Cemetery
Center Street
Ludlow, MA 1056

St.Mary of the Assumption Church
East Street
Ludflow, MA 1056


 

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Timeline for Gregory J. Wrinn Sr.

Born: March 18, 1928
Died: November 14, 2009

Condolences for Gregory J. Wrinn Sr.

Kapinos-Mazur Funeral Home

Our sincere condolences.

The staff of Kapinos-Mazur Funeral Home.

 

Cheryl (Pobieglo) Gil posted on 11/17/09

Sympaty to the family. I am a graduate of Ludlow High School of 1965 and have wonderful memories of Mr. Wrinn and what a great teacher he was.

 

Andrew L. DuFresne posted on 12/2/09

I would like to offer my condolences to the Wrinn family, as well as the entire music community of Western Massachusetts. I was a piano student of Mr. Wrinn at a very young age, and I remained an enthusiastic student of his until he could no longer teach years ago. Mr. Wrinn was more than just a teacher to me; he was a mentor, a friend, and an inspiration. He both taught me and cultivated within me the enrichment that music brings to one's life. I will never forget the lessons he provided me in music, art, history, culture, mathematics, and discipline. Thank you, Mr. Wrinn. Andrew L. DuFresne, LHS Class of 2001

 

David Bortone posted on 11/23/09

What an amazing and accomplished life your father led Bill. And obviously touched & influenced so many people. My condolences.

 

Devin Mulhern posted on 11/20/09

My condolences to the Wrinn Family, especially Joe and Billy. The Town of Ludlow and the thousands of LHS students whose lives he touched are better people for having known Mr. Wrinn. The Lord lift His countenance upon you, Mr. Wrinn, and give you Peace. Devin Mulhern (LHS Class of 1973)

 

Jane E. Lazarz posted on 11/19/09

Mr. Wrinn made a difference in so many lives and instilled the love of music in our hearts and souls. He was a very special teacher and human being. In fond memory and celebration of someone who made this world a brighter and better place. He will be missed. With Warmest Thoughts and Deepest Sympathy to all the Wrinn Family. Jane E. Lazarz, LHS Class of 1965

 

Heather Ferrier-Bacon posted on 11/19/09

My heart goes out to all of you, and may you know how many people your family has impacted in Ludlow. So Sorry for your loss.

 

Linda Jo and Mel Gershowitz posted on 11/19/09

Surely if you grew up in Ludlow, you knew the name Mr. & Mrs. Wrinn. They both gave so very much to all of us in Ludlow for so many years. Their devotion to so many of us in Ludlow will never be forgotten, even if they didn't know us by name, we surely all new them and were so grateful for having them. God Bless you all and we thank you for sharing your parents w/us. Sincerely, Mel and Linda Jo Gershowitz

 

Al Fritz Santos posted on 11/19/09

Graduated LHS, Class of '63 When this news landed on my doorstep, it truly symbolized, the day the music died! My condolences to all!

 

Gail (Blais) Corliss - '71 posted on 11/19/09

Mr. Wrinn not only inspired a deep love of music, he taught me to always do my best and to make my mistakes without fear - lessons that have served me very well! His influence will carry on for generations.

 

Kevin McDonald posted on 11/19/09

Mr. Wrinn was one of the most influential people I have ever known. Not only did he touch our hearts musically, but you became a better person simply by being in his presence. Thank you Mr. Wrinn for exampling class, dignity, respect, humor, and love for us all. You will always be the model for what I am trying to become as a high school choral director.

 

Karen (Kibbe) Pilon, LHS '81 posted on 11/19/09

Deepest sympathy for the Wrinns. All of Ludlow is saddened by the news. There are so many times when I wish I was back at LHS, and yes, D block was the best! The Lord Bless You and Keep You.

 

Christine Weaver, '78 posted on 11/19/09

The best class of the day was D Block - Concert Choir. We all had a wonderful four years with you. The Lord Bless You and Keep You, Mr. Wrinn.

 

Martha Mc Chesney Pike posted on 11/18/09

Greg Wrinn will be missed. He was my piano teacher as well as my teacher in school for chorale and all the productions he helped make sound great. He is one of my favorite teachers and I will never forget him. God will be watching and listening to Shirley and him in heaven. Martha Pike 1964

 

Tom Cellilli LHS 1960 posted on 11/18/09

My wife, Philomena (Fabrocini) Cellilli LHS-1962 and I were saddened to hear of Greg Winn's passing. My wife and I were both choir members under his direction as he began his career at LHS. He was a respected member of the faculty who was alsways there for the students. May he reset in peace.

 

Al Fritz Santos posted on 11/18/09

Attended LHS (Class of '63) this is certainly a very sad piece of news on my doorstep. Truly, the day the music died!

 

Teri (Ostrowski) Schultz posted on 11/18/09

My sincere condolences in the loss of this Ludlow musical Legend. Without his guidance and support, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to sing with both District and All-State Chorus. He touched 2 generations of Ostrowskis . . .it was an honor to sing with my Mother for the final song at each concert. May God Bless and keep you! His music will forever be in our hearts.

 

Joni Sullivan (Cossaboom) posted on 11/18/09

I was very saddened to hear about the passing of Mr. Wrinn. He was, without a doubt, my favorite teacher. Not only did he instill a love for music in all of his students, but he taught with kindness, compassion and a knowledge that EVERY student had a voice they were capable of using. I think of him quite fondly and can only say right now how happy the hosts of heaven were to greet him. May the Lord bless you and Keep you... I am so sorry for your loss--and ours. Joni Sullivan LHS class of '92

 

Scott Livingstone posted on 11/18/09

To Joe, Bill and your entire family my sincerest sympathies. I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to know your father. Thank you both so much for sharing him with so many of us. The Lord bless you, and keep you; The Lord make His face to shine upon you, And be gracious unto you; The Lord lift His countenance upon you, And give you peace.

 

Andrew L. DuFresne posted on 12/2/09

I would like to offer my condolences to the Wrinn family, as well as to the entire music community of Western Massachusetts. I was a piano student of Mr. Wrinn at a very young age, and I remained an enthusiastic student of his until he could no longer teach years ago. Mr. Wrinn was more than just a teacher to me; he was a mentor, a friend, and an inspiration. He both taught me and cultivated within me the enrichment that music brings to one's life. I will never forget the lessons he provided me in music, art, history, culture, mathematics, and discipline. Thank you, Mr. Wrinn. Andrew L. DuFresne, LHS Class of 2001

 

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