Zoe Boroughs Fechner, retired teacher at Montclair’s Edgemont Montessori School, died of thyroid cancer on March 28.

Mrs. Fechner, a resident of Oradell, New Jersey, was born in Columbia, South Carolina, and received her B.A. from Furman University. After graduating, Mrs. Fechner pursued a career in Montessori education, teaching across the country in Virginia, Montana, New York, South Carolina and New Jersey.

In 1982, Mrs. Fechner (at the time Zoe Farragher) began her teaching career in New Jersey at Maywood Montessori School. In 1991, Mrs. Fechner began work at Edgemont Public School in Montclair, teaching there until her retirement.

Mrs. Fechner was known for her welcoming classroom, greeting every student with a handshake and a smile. Her dedication to the principles of Montessori education permeated her hands-on, collaborative classroom and patient, student-focused approach to learning. Mrs. Fechner strove to help every student she could every day she taught.

Additionally, Mrs. Fechner was a tireless member of the Central Unitarian Church in Paramus, N.J., from 1987 until her death. As a church member, she sang in the choir, helped lead the youth group, worked as a member of the church board, and participated in various community and social action activities.

Mrs. Fechner is survived by her husband, Dr. Martin Fechner, and former husband Arthur Paxton; her children, Daria Paxton, Ian Farragher and Kathleen Braverman; and her grandchildren, Thomas, Jacob, Delaware and Beatrix. She was predeceased by her parents, Mary Boroughs and Zig Boroughs, and former husband Sean Farragher. 

A memorial service for Mrs. Fechner will be held on June 17th at 2 p.m. at the Central Unitarian Church. Contributions to her memory can be made to Planned Parenthood, Western Native Voices, The Carter Center and NPR.