U-M national champion dies at 86

TRENTON — John V. Ghindia of Trenton, a key contributor on the 1947 and ’48 University of Michigan undefeated national champion football teams, died March 16. He was 86.

Mr. Ghindia was born Oct. 25, 1925, in Niles, Ohio, to Romanian immigrants John and Mary Ghindia, and grew up in Ecorse.

He coached football, basketball and baseball at St. Patrick High School in Wyandotte and tennis and hockey at Ecorse High School. He is a member of the Michigan High School Coaches Hall of Fame, Michigan Catholic High School Hall of Fame and Michigan Tennis Hall of Fame, winning more than 600 games and matches, and fielding several championship teams.

Mr. Ghindia is a World War II Army Air Corps veteran, former Ecorse Recreation Director (16 years), a pioneer in the establishment of youth hockey in the Downriver area, 45-year member of Kiwanis International and past president, 40-year parishioner and usher at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Trenton.

He also received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from U-m, where he played quarterback and linebacker on three Big 10 conference champion football teams, from 1947 to ’49.

Mr. Ghindia leaves behind his wife of 56 years, Katherine Sue; children Mary Beth Cirocco (Terry), George (Cheryl), Suzanne Robertson (Mark), Janet and John; grandchildren Colleen and Emily Cirocco, Tyler, Nick and Jennifer Robertson, and Jacquelyne and Eva Ghindia; sister Olympia Sutherland (Gil); cousin Sylvia Barbot Caruso (Bruno); sister-in-law Betty Tallman; brothers-in-law Jack Tallman (Trisha) and Tom Tallman.

A funeral Mass was held March 21 at St. Joseph. Memorial tributes are welcome to the John V. Ghindia Scholarship Fund or St. Joseph Catholic Church.