Jill Rinehart

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Jill Tietsort Rinehart (1920-2014) was the first woman to serve on the Charlottesville City Council. She died on October 18, 2014. [1]


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Biography

The only child of John D. Tietsort and Edith Brisben Tietsort, Rinehart was born in Chicago, Illinois on July 14, 1920. She grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, New York City, and Beverly Hills, California. Her first experience living in Virginia came when she attended the Warrenton Country School, a French boarding school for girls, for her high school years. There she befriended Jane Rinehart who introduced her to her brother, William Alonzo Rinehart III, also known as Bill Rinehart. Jill and Bill became engaged in 1939 and were married in New York City on October 7, 1940, a marriage that would last 67 years until Bill's death in 2007.

Jill attended Smith College from 1937 until 1939, concentrating in music. Her early volunteer commitments in the Charlottesville community included The University League, Camp Faith and the Red Cross. Jill was a member and past president of the Albemarle Garden Club. In the early 1950's some of the graduates of Mrs. Nellie Hough's Landscape Gardening Course, one of whom was Jill, formed an unstructured garden and book group. Fifty years later, she would chronicle their adventures in "Memories of A Book Group, From Gardening to Reading, 1950-2002." In 1969 Jill opened the Current Scene, an art gallery promoting local and statewide artists. Those would also feature Sunday wine-and-cheese opening parties.[2]

Civic Involvement

Jill was the founding member and president of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Democratic Women's Club for the Charlottesville Democratic Party from 1970 to 1972. She was the first woman elected to the Charlottesville City Council serving from 1972 to 1976. In 1974 she was also the first woman to chair the 7th District Virginia Democratic Finance Committee. Two years later she became the Virginia Women's Political Caucus state coordinator. In 1977 Jill chaired the Virginia International Women's Year Coordinating Committee. Continuing her civic interests, Jill chaired the Jefferson Area Board for Aging from 1975 to 1977, as well as serving on the advisory council for the Shelter for Help in Emergency. [3]

Continuing her civic interests, Jill chaired the Jefferson Area Board for Aging from 1975 to 1977, as well as serving on the advisory council for the Shelter for Help in Emergency. Other commitments included the Charlottesville-Albemarle Bicentennial Commission, The Charlottesville-Albemarle Regional Jail Board, the Shenandoah Valley Educational Television Corporation and the Westminster Childcare Center. In 1976 she co-founded the Virginia Women's Forum to honor outstanding women in government, business and the professions.

University of Virginia

Returning to college, Jill graduated from the University of Virginia in 1980, with a Bachelor's Degree in Government, with honors. Her involvement with UVA continued with her support of the Women's Center, now the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women's Center. As a founding member of the Women's Center Council and its development board, she also established the Distinguished Leadership Series and the Jill T. Rinehart library.

Council legacy

Though she supported the project, Rinehart was one of three councilors who had to recuse themselves from a vote to transform the East Main Street into the downtown pedestrian mall. [4]

Rinehart was also instrumental in the conversion of the McGuffey School into the McGuffey Arts Center[citation needed].

References

  1. Web. Rinehart, Jill Tietsort, retrieved November 3, 2014.
  2. Web. McKenzie: Jill Rinehart was a trailblazer in area civic service, Bryan McKenzie, Daily Progress, World Media Enterprises, November 4, 2014, retrieved November 5, 2014.
  3. Web. McKenzie: Jill Rinehart was a trailblazer in area civic service, Bryan McKenzie, Daily Progress, World Media Enterprises, November 4, 2014, retrieved November 11, 2014.
  4. Web. Former Councilors share memories of early days of Downtown Mall, Sean Tubbs & Brian Wheeler, Charlottesville Tomorrow, April 13, 2010, retrieved November 11, 2014.