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Ridgewood Schools Remember Former Science Teacher

Virginia Colbeth
Virginia Colbeth Photo Credit: Contributed

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. – Memorial services will be held Friday for Virginia Colbeth, a former Ridgewood Public Schools teacher who died late last month.

The district shared information about Colbeth's death on its Facebook page.  Colbeth joined the Ridgewood Public Schools in 1955 and taught science at Ben Franklin Middle School until her retirement 42 years later in 1997.

Colberth was born on Oct. 23, 1927, to Eugene and Mildred (Schuchhardt) Colbeth. She lived 86 of her 88 years in the house her father built.

Colberth was graduated from Ridgewood High School in the Class of 1945, from Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH in the Class of 1949 and earned a Masters of Education from Columbia University.

She taught Physical Education at The Barnard School for Girls in New York City before beginning her 42 year career as a science teacher at Benjamin Franklin Junior High School. There she became famous for the lyrics she re-wrote to popular songs detailing the careers of innumerable retirees.

Colberth was a life-long member of the Ridgewood Methodist Church, singing in the choir, playing the bells and serving on many committees.

In her retirement, Colberth served her community by volunteering at Valley Hospital's Kurth Cottage, reading to kindergarten students and working at the annual book fair sponsored by the Ridgewood College Club.

Colberth was the loving sister of Evelyn (John) Plunkett, a loving aunt to Sue Plunkett Fasano, John (Julia) Plunkett, and Jim (Michelle) Plunkett. She was also a loving great aunt to Trisha and Joe Fasano, John and Kevin Plunkett, Josh (Brianne) Stone, Matt Jobin, Ashleigh Jobin, her fiancé, Jeremy Andrews, and their son, Mason, as well as great-great niece and nephew, Emma and Asher Stone.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, Dec.11, at 2 p.m. at the Ridgewood Methodist Church, Dayton Street, Ridgewood.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.

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