Remembering Josie Cabiglio: CSULB Journo Grad, OC Reg Writer, Aquarium Volunteer

by Cathy Franklin *
Ms. Franklin recently retired as Orange County Bureau Chief for City News Service

(June 30, 2010) -- Somewhere on a birth certificate is the name Maria Josephine Cabiglio, but most people in the various communities whose lives she touched knew her simply as Josie. (Photo right is from her Facebook page).

The 1977 Cal State Long Beach grad, a journalism major, was born on March 18, 1955 and died on May 19 of a massive heart attack, sending a massive shock wave to family, friends and acquaintances.

She had just returned from an April trip to Italy, the country of her heritage, and many people said she seemed well. Josie's most recent gig was as a volunteer leader with the Aquarium of the Pacific. There she happily and satisfyingly put in long hours marshaling the troops and passing on to visitors and others lessons about -- and her love of -- conservation and the environment.

At the university, she worked on the Daily 49er. She was popular, highly engaged in others and issues swirling around a news room and -- as she continued to be throughout her life -- a glue that connected lives going off in many directions.

The reference to glue may seem a cliche but there are those who really fill that role among people in their disparate circles.

Upon graduation, Josie held a number of journalism jobs, including a stint on the community sections of the Orange County Register. She then went on to endeavors in the public relations field, where she was a spokesperson for a number of institutions, including, most recently, St. Vincent De Paul Society of Los Angeles . In the mid-1990s, she was part of the initial team put together when U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Santa Ana, pulled off her upset victory over Republican Bob Dornan.

A memorial service was held on May 27 at the Chapel at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, Friends said that Josie would have wanted, in lieu of flowers, for donations to be sent to the Aquarium. Friends, in a flurry of email, also tossed around the idea of creating a memorial to Josie at that facility.

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