Regina Dudney, 71
WEST STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Regina "Ginna" Mellor Dudney passed away on Sunday, March 3, 2019, in Great Barrington at the age of 71. She was a long-time TV executive and more recently, a founder of the West Stockbridge Farmers Market, as well as chair of the West Stockbridge Parks & Recreation Department.
Ginna was born in Manhattan on December 22, 1947, daughter of Vincent Mellor and Regina Wilbur Mellor. She graduated from Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia and the Katherine Gibbs School in Manhattan. As part of her lifelong love of cooking and fine dining, she attended Cordon Bleu in Paris and the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan
Her first job was in New York, working for rock impresario Don Kirshner as he was just getting into television. There she met Merrill Grant, a budding TV producer, and they formed a close working relationship that lasted more than 40 years, until his death in 2015. Their organization produced such hits as "Kate and Allie," "That’s Incredible" and "Homicide: Life on the Street."
Ginna met her husband-to-be, Roland Dudney, while she was on vacation in Jamaica. Upon completing his work in Jamaica, Roland went on to work in Panama and then New York, after which they were married in 1979.
Though settled in Manhattan, Ginna had family roots in Massachusetts, so they bought a 1830s farmhouse in West Stockbridge as a weekend and vacation home. She began the tradition of a summer clambake, a weekend-long party attended by scores of friends and relations, held yearly for several decades.
After retiring, Ginna and Roland began living full-time in West Stockbridge, and brought their energy and enthusiasm to many aspects of village life, including the Village Association and The Friends of the Library, in addition to the Farmers Market and the Parks & Recreation Department. Her love of animals was well known, and the troop of her beloved Bichon Frisés brought her much joy.
Ginna is survived by her husband Roland; her cousin Barbara Cartinelli; and god-daughter Christine Cartinelli Smith and her husband Pat Smith.
Funeral notice: Calling hours were held at the Finnerty & Stevens Funeral Home, 426 Main Street, Great Barrington, on Friday evening, March 8, 2019. A celebration of her life will take place in the summer.