Atty. Vincent E. Gilmartin, who served 16 years as Mahoning County’s elected prosecutor, was remembered by his colleagues in the legal profession as a distinguished public officeholder and leader in the local Irish-American community.
Gilmartin, 83, of Canfield, died early Monday morning in St. Elizabeth Health Center, Boardman.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday in St. Christine Church in Youngstown. Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Higgins-Reardon Funeral Home, Austintown.
“I trusted him, and I knew that our system of justice was in good hands with Vince,” said retired Judge Charles J. Bannon of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, who now serves as a visiting judge.
Kenneth Cardinal, an assistant county prosecutor, who was hired into that position about 28 years ago by Gilmartin, said Gilmartin will best be remembered as a mentor for young assistant prosecutors.
“He never showed anger. He always showed some compassion and understanding and was always reasonable” and understanding of both sides in disputes, Cardinal recalled.
“Vince will be remembered as a fine professional, an outstanding lawyer, certainly a leader in the community,” said Magistrate Timothy G. Welsh of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
“He was a great public servant. He was a great lawyer, and he was a great Irishman. He loved his Irish heritage, and he’ll be fondly remembered,” said Mahoning County Probate Judge Mark Belinky.
A 1946 graduate of Ursuline High School, where he was senior class president, Gilmartin received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College in 1950 and his law degree from Ohio Northern University in 1954. He served in the Army from 1954 to 1956.
He was an assistant Ohio attorney general and an assistant Youngstown law director before being elected in 1968 to his first of four consecutive four-year terms as county prosecutor.
Having returned to private law practice in 1985, he received the Mahoning County Bar Association’s professionalism award in 2007 and was inducted two years later into the county Democratic Party Hall of Fame.
For many years, he was the master of ceremonies at the Mahoning Valley St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and he was the parade’s grand marshal in 1986.
He was a member of the church, where he was parish council president. He was a fourth-degree knight with Knights of Columbus Council 274.