Molly McGoogan Merlino, August 16, 1925 - November 14, 2013
Former Trenton, N.J., resident Molly Merlino passed away in New York City on November 14, 2013. She was 88 years old. Merlino was a prominent advocate for the arts on a local and statewide level and the wife of former State Senate President Joseph P. Merlino.
Born and raised in Trenton, Merlino was the daughter of the former Helen Ryan and James McGoogan. She was a graduate of Trenton High School and attended Trenton's School of Industrial Art and the Moore College of Art, before launching a career as an artist. She worked at Lenox in the late 1940s.
She married Joseph Merlino, an attorney, in 1949 and together they raised five children, Claire, Nell, Kate (all of New York City), Jim (of Broomfield, Colo.) and Joe (of Santa Fe, N.M.). Throughout her life Merlino held positions in the arts, including: president of The Friends of the New Jersey State Museum, president of the Trenton City Museum, and, appointed by the governor, member of the New Jersey Council on the Arts. In 1999 she was awarded the Meta Griffith Community Service Award from the YWCA of Trenton, and she received a certificate of appreciation from the New Jersey Federation of Democratic Women in honor of her term as president in 1992-93. She was named to the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1998. Merlino was a candidate for Mercer County Clerk in 1990.
In addition to her five children, Merlino is survived by three beautiful granddaughters, Maggie and Allison Merlino of Broomfield, and Helena Merlino, as well as daughter-in-law, Alex Merlino, both of Santa Fe, N.M., sons-in-law, Gary Conger and Lucky Engstrom and step-grandchildren Laura and Nick Conger.
A memorial service will be held at the Contemporary Club in Trenton, N.J. on a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests memorial contributions be made in Molly's honor to the Trenton Artist Workshop Association (TAWA), PO Box 969, Trenton, NJ 08605.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care and coordination of David C. Chiacchio and his dedicated staff of the Chiacchio Southview Funeral Home, South Trenton N.J.