Constance Marie Plucinsky, affectionately known as Connie to her friends and loved ones, took her final, grand curtain call on December 22, 2023. Born in Passaic, New Jersey, on September 17, 1937, she lived a vibrant life filled with laughter, learning, and a touch of sass. Connie passed away in Ridgewood, New Jersey, due to a stroke, but not before leaving an indelible mark on the hearts and funny bones of everyone she encountered.
Connie's journey began as a bright-eyed student at Paterson State College, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in 1959. Her thirst for knowledge was unquenchable, leading her to obtain a Master of Arts from Seton Hall University in 1970, followed by postgraduate work there in 1975 and at William Paterson College starting in 1989. She was a lifelong learner in the truest sense, and she had an arsenal of diplomas to prove it.
Her professional life was dedicated to shaping young minds as a teacher and guidance counselor. Connie's career began in the Garfield Board of Education, then took her to the Paramus Board of Education, and eventually to the Bergen Gifted Child Society. She wasn't just any educator; she was the cool counselor who could talk about the birds, the bees, and algebra with equal flair. Connie's later years saw her as the administrative assistant to the superintendent and the coordinator for sex equity, where she championed equality with a sharp wit and even sharper pencil.
Connie's avocations were as unique and lively as her personality. Not everyone can claim the dual titles of equestrian competitive rider and chicken farmer, but Connie wore them like badges of honor. She was as comfortable on the back of a horse as she was chasing chickens around the farm, all while maintaining her impeccable sense of humor. No one could forget her beloved basset hound Mickey
whom she never left home without.
She was a proud member and project director on the advisory board for various educational initiatives and even supervised the S.A.T. program for the Educational Testing Service in Princeton. Connie's involvement in education was not just a career; it was a calling. She inspired countless students and colleagues to reach for the stars, even if, as she would joke, "you'll mostly end up with a handful of stardust in your eyes."
Connie leaves behind a loving family who inherited her quick wit and passion for life: her daughter Carolyn Plucinsky, her sisters Lee Carol Goralski and Elaine Goralski, her grand niece Aliana Dionisio and the memories of her late nephew Michael Dionisio and husband, William Plucinsky. They will remember her not just for her accomplishments but for her infectious laughter and the joy she brought to every room she entered.
Connie's life was a testament to the power of humor, the importance of education, and the love of all creatures great and small. She approached life as she did her beloved horses: with confidence, grace, and a little bit of mischief. Her legacy will gallop on in the stories shared, the lessons taught, and the laughter that echoes in the halls and fields she once roamed.
So here's to Constance Marie "Connie" Plucinsky: a remarkable woman, a beacon of light, and a teller of the best (and worst) chicken jokes. As she would say, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it less horse-like." Ride on, Connie, ride on.