Brooklyn Boro

Memorial set at Brooklyn Botanic Garden for Gina Weiner, 76, beloved botanical writer, illustrator, tireless volunteer

April 7, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Earl Weiner and Gina Ingoglia Weiner pictured at a benefit at Green-Wood Cemetery this past September, where they received the seventh annual DeWitt Clinton Award. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese
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A special memorial to Gina Ingoglia Weiner has been scheduled for Sunday, June 7, at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. A noted writer, illustrator and landscape designer, she spent nearly half a century living in Brooklyn Heights, raising a family and taking a remarkable leadership role in numerous non-profit organizations she loved.

After suffering quietly from cancer and continuing to pursue her many activities as much as she could, she died at home on Garden Place on March 17. She was 76.

Under her professional and maiden name, Gina Ingoglia, she wrote more than 80 books for children. A particularly popular award-winner was “The Tree Book for Kids and Their Grown-Ups.” It featured her talent clearly in the lucid descriptions and vivid paintings of trees in North America.

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A number of key institutions remembered her in New York Times obituaries, an indication of her years of devotion to, and support of, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Historical Society, Prospect Park Alliance and the Acting Company, among other organizations.

“So many wonderful things would not have happened without Gina,” said Francesca Anderson, a close friend and internationally-heralded botanical illustrator. “She was the impetus behind the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Florilegium, one of the country’s finest collections of contemporary botanical art.”

“She has left a legacy of innumerable contributions to many cultural and educational institutions,” continued Anderson. “I consider her irreplaceable, especially as a much-beloved friend.”

Gina Weiner grew up in Forest Hill Gardens and later received her BA and honorary PhD from Dickinson College, where she met her beloved husband of 53 years, Earl Weiner. She also held a BS in Landscape Architecture from Rutgers.  

She designed graceful gardens and landscapes in New York and New England, family members said. “As devoted as she was to her many pursuits, she somehow found bottomless time for family,” her daughter, Melissa, wrote in a New York Times obituary. “From her hand-drawn valentines to her hilarious emails to her unrivaled turkey soup, she was a master of daily gestures that never let loved ones forget what lay at the heart of her generous life.” 

She is survived by Earl, daughter Melissa Balmain Weiner and son John Barlow Weiner. Later this spring, a more precise time will be announced for the June 7 Brooklyn Botanic Garden Memorial celebration of her life.


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