Obituary: Margaret Valentine
Margaret Valentine, a high school English teacher and supervisor of English teachers and a longtime resident of Montclair, died on July 22, 2022, surrounded by her loved ones, after living with stage four cancer for more than three years. She was 76.
Ms. Valentine was born and grew up in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. She attended Brooklyn College for her undergraduate work in sociology, worked as a social worker, and later earned her master’s in English literature at Rutgers University.
She taught English at West Milford High School, where she nurtured a love of literature in 12th graders for 25 years. She taught college preparatory English, AP English, philosophy and 10th grade basic skills.
In her later years at West Milford, she became the English supervisor for the district, during which time she supported and mentored all of the teachers she worked with. She was thrilled to be able to reach even more students by helping, teaching and encouraging their teachers.
Her students and colleagues loved and respected her for her skill, knowledge, patience, warmth, sense of humor and enthusiasm.
As a lifelong learner, Ms. Valentine had many loves. She spent decades studying and writing poetry. She was a member of the Hill Poets, writing reams of poems and publishing books of poetry with the other poets in the group.
Upon her retirement, she took classes in watercolor at the Montclair Art Museum, returning to a love of visual arts from her teenage years, and went on to create many gorgeous paintings.
She loved books, poetry, chocolate, licorice, talking, going to the theater, playing Scrabble with friends, doing crosswords, playing Pounce with her children and grandchildren, visiting her favorite teller at the bank, perfectly made beds and eating the same thing for breakfast every day.
More than any of these, though, Ms. Valentine loved her family, and was loved by them.
She is survived by her spouse, Kathleen Gebhardt; her daughters, Jennifer Rohr (Prasad Jallepalli) and Katie Rohr Howell (Todd Howell); her four grandchildren, Ellie Howell, Vikram Jallepalli, Max Howell and Norah Howell; her brother, Dan Valentine; her sister, Roslyn Levy (David Levy); her former spouse, Michael Rohr; several nieces and nephews, and many loving in-laws.
A celebration of her life was held on Aug. 11.
Donations in Ms. Valentine’s memory may be made to Atlantic Hospice, atlantichealth.org, 465 South St., Suite 100A, Morristown, NJ 07920.
Arrangements were by Apyre National Cremation Services.