In my Goodbye Old Blue post yesterday I mentioned that I would write another post about who I was donating my car to and the story behind the decision.
The donation was made in memory of my Grandfather’s cousin Mary Dinota who passed away earlier this year.
Mary Dinota worked for many years for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration as a program manager for building and expanding Public Radio and PBS (Public Broadcasting Service).
Mary was referred to as the Grandmother of Public Broadcasting for her work to help establish NPR and PBS along with other public broadcast stations.
Mary worked with many stations in the western part of the US, including in Alaska and Bakersfield. She also worked for many years to help provide educational programing for Native Americans.
Mary helped write the charter for National Public Radio that was presented to congress. Throughout the years she helped write grants for many stations and after retirement continued as a consultant to help with grant writing.
Mary also worked with the Educational Broadcasting Facilities Program of the U.S. Office of Education. Her daughter told me an interesting story about Mary coming home from an initial screening of Sesame Street and raving about the educational content of the show.
I received an e-mail from CapRadio and one statement really sums up Mary Dinota’s career in Public Broadcasting.
Hundreds of thousands of NPR listeners and PBS viewers, without knowing it, continue to benefit from her work on our behalf.
Now for a bit more personal look at Mary Dinota. In the picture above is my great-great aunt Maude with Mary and her older sister Gwen. At this time my Grandfather was living with his grandparents as his mother passed away when he was only nine years old. Because of this he was very close to his younger cousins.
I have a memory that I want to share from about 20 years ago. Mary had made a trip out here to California to visit her sister Gwen. She was with her brother Dean and sister Evelyn. I met up with them at Gwen’s house and we had a good time together. Here we had been looking at a family bible. I remember taking pictures with an old digital camera that saved pictures on floppy discs.
Since I work in education it was interesting to find out more about the work that Mary did for education over the years.