Ernie Grecco, longtime MRC member, passes at age 81

Monday, January 15, 2024

Ernest "Ernie" Grecco, a longtime member of the Maryland Racing Commission and an advocate for the Maryland racing and breeding industry, passed away Dec. 13. He was 81.

Grecco is survived by his son, Gary Grecco and his wife Kelly; his daughter Nina Southan and her husband, Eric; his four grandchildren--Ashley Clouse and her husband Zac; Adam Grecco; Katy Ruby and her husband Dylan; and Ben Dukes--and his two great-grandchildren Jordan and Elijah Clouse. He loved his family fiercely. Although recent years he has faced multiple health challenges, he was courageous and strong and didn't take a single day for granted. He will also be missed by many other family members and friends.

Grecco was predeceased by his beloved wife, Dot along with his parents, Alfredo and Italia Grecco, and his siblings Virginia Cirillo and John Grecco.

A lifelong union official, Grecco retired as the Metropolitan Baltimore AFL-CIO Council President in 2017 after 55 years of faithful service. He became involved in the labor movement while working at Calvert Distilleries.

He was a member of the United Food & Commercial Workers, Distillery Division, Local 34-D, and rose through the ranks to become the Political (COPE) Director of the Metropolitan Baltimore Council AFL-CIO Unions, and then became the COPE director for the Maryland State & District of Columbia AFL-CIO before being elected President of the Metropolitan Baltimore AFL-CIO Council.

Grecco's involvement in the community included membership on the Baltimore Work Force Investment Board, Maryland Transportation Commission, and with his love of horses, he proudly served on the racing commission. He has also served on the United Way and Blue Cross/Blue Shield Board of Directors and has the distinction of having received two national awards for community service: the Joseph A. Beirne Award from the United Way of America and the Samuel Gompers Award from the American Red Cross.

A visitation will be held Saturday, Dec. 16, at Eline Funeral Home, 2901 Bloom Rd, Finksburg, MD 21048 from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Services are set for Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024, at 11 a.m. at LifePoint Church, 1701 Emory Rd., Reisterstown, MD 21136.

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