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Cecile "Cece" Rottman Zorinsky White
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Birth: 1931
Denver County
Colorado, USA
Death: Apr. 15, 1996
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA

Article from The Omaha World-Herald (NE) - Tuesday, April 16, 1996

Cancer Battle Claims Cece Zorinsky White

Cece Zorinsky White , whose blonde, Cleopatra - cut hair and wide smile became trademarks during the political career of her late husband, Ed Zorinsky , died Monday at her Washington, D.C., home.

Graveside services were scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday at Beth El Cemetery at 84th and L Streets in Omaha.

Her second husband, Omaha native Lee White , was at her side when she died at the end of a 3 1/2 - year battle with ovarian cancer. She was 65.

Mrs. White was often in the limelight during Zorinsky 's rise to mayor of Omaha and, in 1976, to the U.S. Senate.

No one called her Mrs. Zorinsky . To friends and the public, she was always Cece.

After Zorinsky 's sudden death after performing in the Omaha Press Club show in 1987, his wife made an unsuccessful bid for the 2nd District Democratic nomination.

After her political loss and her 1989 marriage to White , Mrs. White avoided publicity. On several occasions she declined to attend events honoring her or Zorinsky if the news media were expected to attend. But she was far from a recluse.

White said that even during his wife's illness, especially during a 15 - month period when the cancer was in remission, she was an active volunteer, traveled extensively - particularly to visit her grandchildren - and maintained a wide circle of friends in Washington and Nebraska.

Among her volunteer activities in the Washington area was taking meals to people with AIDS, said White , an attorney and former chairman of the Federal Power Authority.

Friends often described Mrs. White as outgoing, vivacious and a true "people person." She seemed to be in her element whenever she walked into a room full of people.

"She has become the secret weapon in my campaign," Zorinsky once said during a bid for the U.S. Senate. "Her principal asset is that she really loves people."

Mrs. White was thrust into the public spotlight while campaigning and serving constituents during Zorinsky 's political tenure in Omaha and Washington.

She often was seen at Zorinsky 's side during political gatherings and other social events. During the 10 years that Zorinsky spent in the Senate, his wife volunteered in his office daily to answer letters, do other office work and offer political counsel to her husband.

The couple developed a reputation for being active participants on the Washington social circuit.

Mrs. White downplayed the activities years later, saying she did not live a life of glamour. She said attending the social events at embassies was an obligation that came with her husband's seat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

She was active in other Washington circles as well. She served as president of the Democratic Congressional Wives Forum and helped found the Congressional Wives Task Force, a group that studied national issues.

In recent years, Mrs. White had devoted extensive efforts to preserving the memory of her first husband.

The Zorinsky Federal Building and Zorinsky Lake in the Omaha area, and the Zorinsky Memorial Library in Jakarta, Indonesia, are testaments to her success in these endeavors. In 1993, she donated $93,000 to provide playground equipment at Zorinsky Lake.

Born Cecile Rottman in Denver, Mrs. White transferred to the University of Nebraska in Lincoln in 1949 after spending a year at the University of Colorado.

She met Zorinsky through his sister, Esther, a sorority sister.

Survivors include her daughter, Suzan Goodman of Omaha; sons, Jeffrey Zorinsky of Omaha and Barry Zorinsky of Houston; sister, Charlotte King of Denver; brother, Robert Rottman of Denver; and six grandchildren.
Family links: 
  Edward Zorinsky (1928 - 1987)
Beth El Cemetery
Douglas County
Nebraska, USA
Created by: Diane Elsasser Snider
Record added: Mar 24, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 87313016
Cecile Cece <i>Rottman</i> Zorinsky White
Added by: Ron Stewart
Cecile Cece <i>Rottman</i> Zorinsky White
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Ren
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