Mary R. Moffa, longtime and well-respected teacher here
Mary R. Moffa of Danbury, who had been a teacher in Ridgefield for more than 35 years, died at Danbury Hospital on Saturday, Jan. 7.
She was the widow of James Moffa.
Mrs. Moffa was born in Lisbon, Portugal, on Feb. 28, 1938. She received her undergraduate and master’s degrees at Western Connecticut State University and then began her 36-year teaching career.
She taught at both East Ridge and Scotts Ridge Middle schools in Ridgefield. She also was curriculum editor for the Ridgefield Board of Education for many years.
“She was a mentor of other teachers and shared her love of teaching as well as her passion for excellence,” her family said. “She loved teaching and worked with many extracurricular student activity groups. Most of all she loved her 36 years of interaction with the students themselves.”
“Mary Moffa never talked down to her students,” said Paul Hazel, who was the schools’ personnel director for many years. “She paid them the compliment of supposing either they would understand her or else be wise enough to ask a question. Her lessons were not simply from textbooks but required thinking like scientists. It is little wonder she was voted one of Ridgefield’s Teachers of the Year.”
“Mary was a totally tireless worker,” said Dr. Darla Shaw, a former Ridgefield teacher who is now a professor at WestConn, in a tribute this week (see letters to the editors). “She often put the needs of her students and the school system ahead of her personal needs.”
Ms. Moffa is survived by four children, James Moffa, of Spring, Texas, Melinda Cacamis, of Hamden, Michelle Trotter, of Clearwater, Fla., and Michael Moffa, of Danbury; her eight grandchildren, Elizabeth, David, Anthony, and James Moffa, Mark, Nick, Luke, and Alexandra Trotter. She is also survived by her two sisters, Lucy Moore and Nancy Gesseck; her brother, Joseph Pereira; as well as many nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Gregory the Great Church, Danbury, on Tuesday Jan. 10. Burial followed in St. Peter Cemetery.
Memorial contributions in her memory may be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 6931 Arlington Road, Bethesda, MD 20814; or St. Gregory the Great Church, 85 Great Plain Road, Danbury, 06811.
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