Anthony L. Quintilian spent more than 25 years as an educator with the Huntington Union Free School District, imparting a passion for learning to a generation of students in the then fast-growing community.
Quintilian, who retired in 1971, died Wednesday of natural causes in Palm Coast, Fla. He was 95.
Quintilian came to Toaz Junior High School in 1946 as a math and physical education teacher. During his career, he was principal of the Nathan Hale, Flower Hill and J. Taylor Finley schools, as well as an athletic coach.
At his retirement dinner, his family said, school officials estimated that Quintilian had hired over 65 percent of the district faculty.
When Jeff Lipman, a former elementary school student of Quintilian's, moved with his family to Huntington in 1959, the educator was already established as a major figure in the emerging town.
"He was the kind of man who was progressive for his day," said Lipman, now a doctor in Huntington. "His door was always open for people in the community to come to talk with him."
Quintilian was born in upstate Marlboro in 1914, said his son, Dennis Quintilian of Lloyd Harbor. One of nine children to survive into adulthood, Quintilian knew tough times as a kid, his son said, and was a gifted baseball catcher.
According to his son, Quintilian, who owned and directed the now-closed Shepherd Day School and Camp in Huntington, was tireless in his devotion to teaching and education.
"Had he been independently wealthy, which he was not, he would have done the same damn thing," said Dennis Quintilian, "because he really just enjoyed teaching the kids."
In addition to his son, Quintilian is survived by a daughter-in-law, Doris Quintilian of Lloyd Harbor; a daughter and son-in-law, Kathleen Q. and Rick R. Pinson of Palm Coast, Fla.; his sister, Louise DuBaldi of Newburgh, N.Y.; four grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends Monday between 2 and 4 p.m. and between 7 and 9 p.m. at the A.L. Jacobsen Funeral Home, 1380 New York Ave. in Huntington Station. A Mass will be celebrated at St. Patrick's R.C. Church in Huntington at 10:45 a.m. Tuesday.