Level Green dietitian shared Italian culinary traditions
Food was a passion and a profession for Lisa Ginsburg.
A registered dietitian, she made sure those she cared for — including family members — were well fed and hydrated.
“When I was in college, I played baseball for Clarion University, and she helped me with my nutrition,” her younger brother, Damian Marasco, recalled. “She wrote some nutrition plans for me, so I was able to keep my weight up.”
“She practiced what she preached,” said her husband of 19 years, Michael H. Ginsburg. “She was very conscious about her salt, and she would watch her carbohydrates and her hydration. She always made sure I had a glass of water at dinner. She reminded me.”
Lisa Marie Ginsburg, 63, of Level Green, died Tuesday, May 21, 2019, at Forbes Hospital in Monroeville. Born May 23, 1955, in Pittsburgh, she was a daughter of the late Frank and Virginia (Persichetti) Marasco.
Mrs. Ginsburg began working in a hospital in East Liberty as a teenager. After earning a degree at Seton Hill University, she began a career as a clinical dietitian, working at Kane Hospital, Murray Manor and UPMC Montefiore.
She also oversaw the food service operation at Murray Manor. “She was responsible for the feeding three times a day of 120 people,” her husband said.
At home, she kept alive the food traditions that were part of her Italian roots, passed down by her grandmother. She was known for a meatless spaghetti sauce recipe that “came over on the boat,” her husband noted. “It’s very important to do it right. She looked down on people who added sugar to their sauce.”
When the holidays arrived, she introduced her husband’s family to the Italian tradition of dining on seven fishes on Christmas Eve.
Including pizzelles, “she would make 30 to 40 dozen cookies for Christmas,” said her husband. “We would package boxes of cookies to give.”
Blessed with keen organizational skills, Mrs. Ginsburg helped her husband with many civic projects and in his successful campaigns for public office in Penn Township and Westmoreland County.
She knew exactly what she was going to do,” he said. “She had everything written out in detail, and she followed it to a T.”
Mrs. Ginsburg was a past president of the Community Women’s Club of Level Green, was a founding member of the Penn Township Fall Festival and was a volunteer for the Westmoreland Arts and Heritage Festival, the Penn-Trafford Area Recreation Commission and local Lions Club meals and projects.
“She just fit in with every person and every group,” her husband said. “She was very friendly, very likeable and always helpful. She never put herself first.”
He noted she donated to the Level Green Volunteer Fire Department tips she earned while assisting with bingo games at the fire hall.
A former Eucharistic minister with Sacred Heart Church in Pittsburgh, she was a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Pittsburgh Penguins and had season tickets with her husband to see her hometown hockey team.
A survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, she treasured a get-well photo she received from Penguins star Mario Lemieux, a fellow survivor who created a foundation to fund cancer research.
In addition to her husband and brother, Mrs. Ginsburg is survived by two children, Jenny (Mickey) Ramien and Michael P. (April) Ginsburg, both of Level Green; six grandchildren and a great-grandson.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .