Vincent was born in Starview, PA (just north of York, PA) on October 25, 1917. He graduated from Manchester High School at age 15 and Central Pennsylvania Business College in 1934. During this time one of his favorite pastimes was refereeing local basketball games.
In 1935 Vince came to Washington, DC to work as a clerk at the U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board. He attended Southeastern University and received his law degree. He was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1941 and thereafter was admitted to the District of Columbia Bar, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
After admission to the Maryland Bar, he served as a Trial Examiner of the U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB). He resigned from that position in 1944 to enter into private law practice in Takoma Park, MD.
During the early years in private practice, he was retained by potential air carriers to assist them in presenting evidence to the CAB to support their requests for Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity. He also represented Trans-Texas Airways (a precursor of Southwest Airlines) for many years, and aided several cities with their requests for additional or improved air service. Later, he shifted the focus of his practice away from aviation law, moving toward a general practice with emphasis on family law, wills, trusts, estate planning, probate and real property.
When he joined the Montgomery County Bar Association in 1944, it was an association of less than 75 members. As the number of members grew rapidly so did the activities of the Association. He served on the grievance, legal aid, travel, and other committees as well as serving as Chairman of the Committee on Economics. Upon its recommendations, the Association adopted a minimum fee schedule for the various services rendered by attorneys which proved to be very beneficial to both experienced and new members of the Bar.
Vincent served as President of the Montgomery County Bar Association from 1978-79. During his presidency, the Lawyer Referral Service was established, which was the first means by which an attorney could advertise his services to potential clients.
Mr. Gingerich served as Corporation Counsel to the City of Takoma Park from 1950 to 1983. During his tenure, he spent considerable time resolving many problems involved in the enforcement of the City’s Housing Code. His policy was to obtain compliance by persuasion rather than by confrontation and litigation. When citizens with other problems, including domestic, consulted the City Clerk it was not uncommon for the City Clerk to send them to the Corporation Counsel on a pro bono basis, for advice and/or resolution.
Vince joined the Maryland State Bar Association in 1949 and in 1960 was named Chairman of its new Economics Committee. The Committee prepared a questionnaire on the effect time records made on lawyer’s income levels. Their complete report was published in the Red Book – Transactions Maryland Bar Association 1963. He served on the Maryland State Bar Association Executive Council in 1963-64. The following year he chaired its Membership Committee. Prior to his appointment to that committee, the Maryland State Bar Association had adopted a budget that required an increase in membership to 2,500. Under his leadership the Committee succeeded in obtaining the needed members.
Mr. Gingerich was President of the Maryland State Bar Association from 1978-79. During his Presidency, he established a statewide Lawyer Referral Service, the Lawyer Counseling Service, and the Litigation Section. He was also responsible for introducing the policy of appointing non-lawyers to standing and special committees of the Association. During his presidency, the Maryland State Bar Association co-sponsored the Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the Court of Appeals of Maryland.
In 1962, he was appointed by the Court of Appeals to be one of three members of the Maryland State Board of Law Examiners, and from 1963-1978 served as its Chairman. He was a Fellow of the American Bar Association and served as a member of the House of Delegates of the ABA in 1978-1979; a Fellow of the Maryland State Bar Association (serving as its president in 1983-1985), and a Bar Leader of the Montgomery County Bar Association. In 1983, the Maryland Court of Appeals appointed Vincent to be a Trustee of the Clients’ Security Trust Fund and was elected as Secretary of the Fund by the Trustees that same year. In 1999, he received the Century of Service Award from the Montgomery County Bar Association.
In the early days of his practice, he became a member of a barbershop quartet known as the “DC Keys.” The quartet appeared on local radio and TV programs, local social and business events, and sang in the chorus at President Truman’s Inaugural Gala. The quartet also appeared in cities along the East Coast, and in Hickory, NC in the early 50’s, they almost stole the show from the Buffalo Bills (appeared in the film – “The Music Man”). He knew it was time to quit singing with the “DC Keys” when, one week, he earned more singing than practicing law. Though he enjoyed singing, he never regretted his decision to quit barbershopping.
Mr. Gingerich was an elder of the Calvary Lutheran Church of Silver Spring, MD, where he served as organist for more than 30 years. He was also a member of the Takoma Park Lions Club for over 66 years. In 2005, at the age of 85, he retired from active practice of law as a partner of the firm of Gingerich and Culpepper, LLP, in Silver Spring, MD.
Vincent was married to Jean K. Gingerich and Ann E. Richards. He has a daughter, Robyn (Stephen) Frank, and stepdaughters Susan A. Peterson, Sally J. Warner, and Kim (Geoffrey) Siegel; grandchildren Evelyn Frank, Ingrid (Adam) Hoch, Jennifer Wilson, Ashleigh Siegel, Debi Brooks, Greg Warner, Kris, John, and Andrew Peterson; sister Mary (Clark) Taylor; and 11 great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made by mail: American Heart Association, P. O. Box 5216, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5216; by telephone: 1-800-242-8721; or via website: www.heart.org.