Teacher deaths leave two schools mourning


barbaralehmann-webBarbara Jeanne Lehmann, left, a teacher at Holy Spirit High School in Absecon, died Friday, Dec. 3. Patricia Amicone, a teacher at Resurrection Regional School in Cherry Hill, died on Sunday, Dec. 5.

Two school communities in the Diocese of Camden are mourning beloved teachers who died recently.

Barbara Jeanne Lehmann, 59, of Brigantine, a teacher at Holy Spirit High School in Absecon, died Friday, Dec. 3 after a short illness.amicone-web

Patricia Amicone, 63, of Mount Laurel, a teacher at Resurrection Regional School in Cherry Hill, died suddenly on Sunday, Dec. 5.

At both Holy Spirit and Resurrection, counselors were available to speak to students and faculty.

Lehmann had taught at Holy Spirit High School for 26 years in the Math Department. Born in Jersey City, she was a longtime resident of Brigantine, and a parishioner of St. Thomas Church.

Bernadette Spina, a friend of Lehmann’s who taught with her at Holy Spirit for 24 years before retiring in 200

8, recalled a “selfless, very talented” educator, who always made herself available to not only scho

ol students, but also to other faculty. She tutored students, remembered their birthdays, brought in cookies for holidays and knitted baby blankets for expecting teachers.

Lehmann also was involved with the school as senior class advisor, and moderator of awards’ night. A lover of e

verything math, she was a member of various mathematics organizations, and she worked hard to hone her craft for the benefit of her students by attending summer mathematics workshops over the years.

Outside the classroom, she loved to knit, stitch and crochet, and she was an avid reader with “diverse taste,” said Spina.

Patricia Amicone had been a teacher at Resurrection Regional School for 22 years, teaching first and third grade, and, more recently, language arts, religion, and social studies to sixth, seventh and eighth graders. Her love of children guided not only her work, but her life.

“She was an incredibly dedicated professional who loved her students, and challenged them to be their best,” remembered Camille Forrest, school principal.

Amicone took seriously the school’s mission of providing an excellent Catholic education to students.

“She had a strong faith. She saw her work as a ministry, not a job,” Forrest said.

Debbie Shumaker, a fourth grade teacher at Resurrection who worked with Amicone since 1995, recalled a “one in a million” friend who “was loyal, kind, honest, with an engaging personality” and who also was “interested in student’s lives.” Her relationship with her students was such that when alumni came back to the school, Shumaker said, their first stop was usually Mrs. Amicone’s room.

At the school, Amicone was also involved in the student council as moderator, as co-chair of the Middle States Accreditation team, and a member of the Faculty Leadership program. She helped start the school’s Exploratory Program for sixth-eighth graders which offers students the choice of academic, recreational and vocational subjects to supplement their learning.

“It’s a terrific loss” to the school community, said Shumaker.

In addition to her school family, Amicone was dedicated to her husband, Frank; daughter, Jennifer Amicone O’Kavage (Dan); step-daughters Audrey Mancini and Alison Oks; sisters Roseanne Massaro and Nancy Corcoran; and brother, Edward Wojdon.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Barbara Jeanne Lehman was celebrated Tuesday, Dec. 7, at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Brigantine. Interment was at Holy Cross Cemetery, Mays Landing. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Holy Spirit High School Scholarship Fund, 500 South New Road, Absecon, NJ 08201.

Visitation for Patricia Amicone was scheduled for Friday, Dec. 10, from 9-10:30 a.m. at Christ Our Light Parish, Cherry Hill. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be at Lawnview Cemetery, Rockledge, Pa. Donations can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or at www.stjude.org

Three teachers at Catholic schools in the Diocese of Camden have died since September. Patricia Thomas, 64, who taught at Bishop Schad Regional School in Vineland died earlier in the year.