Resident spent 30 years involved in education

Marcia Deitz began long run of service on local school board

Marcia Fisher Deitz Marcia Fisher Deitz Marcia Fisher Deitz, 70, who dedicated more than 30 years of her life to the service of education, lost her battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on Nov. 7. She died at CentraState Medical Center, Freehold Township.

Three decades earlier as a newcomer to New Jersey, Deitz had helped to raise funds for the construction of Freehold Area Hospital, which was later renamed CentraState Medical Center.

Deitz moved to Manalapan from her native New York in 1967 and lived there until moving to Jackson earlier this year.

Deitz’s pursuit of educational excellence was a personal and professional goal of hers throughout her entire adult life. She began her work in education in the early 1970s as the first woman to serve on the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District Board of Education.

Over the next 30 years, Deitz dedicated her time to serving on several different educational boards in Monmouth County. She stepped down from most of her public positions in February after moving to an adult community in Jackson.

Deitz served as a member of the Monmouth County Vocational-Technical School District for 24 years. She also served as that organization’s representative to the Monmouth-Ocean Educational Services Commission (MOESC) for 22 years, including 19 as president of that group.

She was a member of the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) board of directors, a representative to the NJSBA’s Delegate Assembly, president of the Monmouth County School Boards Association, a member of the Monmouth-Ocean Foundation for Children, and president of the state Council of Educational Services Commission.

Deitz’s educational legacy lives on in the MOESC facility that was named for her in April 2000, the Marcia Deitz Learning Center, Tinton Falls. The center named in her honor houses several educational programs including English as a Second Language, a GED program and an alternative high school for troubled and disadvantaged youths.

In addition to her work in improving education, Deitz was also involved in many local charities and organizations. Deitz’s daughter, Barbara Deitz Caprioni, said, “My mom was the most positive and supportive person anyone could have met. No matter what time of day or night, or where she was, she was always there for all.

“Her last day, surrounded by family and friends, was spent with dignity and concern for everyone else, still not worrying about the journey she was about to take. She knew, yet all her thoughts were still focused on others.

“All she kept saying was ‘I am so blessed.’ And she was. But so were we, as I tried to make her understand. She asked me to tell everyone who has ever known her that she is watching over them. She may not be here to tell them, but she will still always have the last word,” Caprioni said.

Jack Kirschenbaum, who knew Deitz for 16 years as a colleague and a friend, recalled how Deitz followed the Jewish ideal of tikkun olam (repairing the world).

“Repairing the world became her mission. At first she tired to get people to not be prejudiced or hostile to others. She abhorred anger and violence. She tried to teach anyone she met by words and by personal example to love all people regardless of the differences. In pursuing this goal she eventually became involved in organizations such as school boards and community politics.

“Early on in her efforts to repair the world, she came to realize that everyone needed to be loved. So she set out to care for and love everyone that she met. Everyone who has met her has experienced her attentiveness, eagerness to help and emotional nourishment. Even when she disagreed with someone she held back and discouraged others from using cross words. When people came into her home she always offered them food, an ear to listen to their stories and any help she could think of. She exhibited an all-consuming mother love that left people eager for more,” Kirschenbaum said.

Deitz is survived by her husband Sydney; a son and daughter-in-law, Robert and Holly Deitz, Millstone Township; two daughters and sons-in-law, Barbara and Barry Caprioni, Florida, and Susan and Andrew Ferrara, Millstone Township; a brother and sister-in-law, Jerry and Lenore Fisher, East Windsor; a sister and brother-in-law, June and Charles Loccisano, Marlboro; nine grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.