Former teachers from eight Greater Bridgeport Retired Teachers Association (GBRTA) member towns honored colleagues who passed away during the past year during the annual GBRTA Memorial Service and lunch held on May 12, at Testo’s Restaurant in Bridgeport.
Retired teachers paid tribute to the following deceased teachers:
Ann Simon, Walter Chop, William McGee, Janet Crockett, Frank Slinko, John Semosky, Beatrice Marden, Lottie Palmer, Carmella Esposito, Isobel Broadhurst and Dorothy Straub Genualdi, Mary E. Carley, Joseph Rutlosky, Geraldine Johnson, Mary Louise Foerth, Patricia Belade, Joan DelVecchio, Margaret Clinkscales, Robert Hustek, Susan Bivona, Catherine Zorzy, Mary-Anne Conner, Georgia Kilpatrick and Martha M. Mahoney.
Reverend Timothy Hare, pastor of the Trumbull Congregational Church, delivered an inspirational message. He said, “My mother was a teacher. My wife is a teacher. My father was a school superintendent, and my eight-year-old daughter’s favorite occupation is to play teacher. So I’m glad to be here and to have been invited.”
When the audience chuckled in appreciation, he continued, “Would it be bad form to start out with a little homework assignment?”
Hare’s tribute referenced a book titled Thank You Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco, about Trisha who was befriended, guided and inspired by a teacher.
Spiritual readings were offered by Vice President Barbara Kmetz and GBRTA member Stephanie Fians.
Accompanying herself on a keyboard, Trumbull Congregational Church organist Ilana Ofgang sang Be Thou My Vision and How Can I Keep from Singing before Chaplain Lucille Baver and President Robert Pitzschler rang the school bell in memory of each deceased member.
Originally established in 1951, the GBRTA teachers association welcomes all retired teachers who receive pensions from the State of Connecticut and who reside or have taught in Greater Bridgeport: Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Milford, Monroe, Shelton, Stratford and Trumbull.
The next general meeting will be held on Oct. 6. More information is available at GBRTA.org.