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LI teacher Marianne Hadjin dies at 80

Marianne Hadjin, a long-time resident of Huntington, died

Marianne Hadjin, a long-time resident of Huntington, died on Nov. 30, 2010 of a heart attack. She was 80. Photo Credit: Handout

Marianne Hadjin, a foreign language teacher on Long Island and the wife of former Newsday reporter and editor James Hadjin, died Nov. 30 of a heart attack at Wuesthoff Hospital in Rockledge, Fla.

She was 80 and suffered from systemic mastocytosis, which had gotten progressively worse in the past few months, her husband said. They had lived in Huntington 47 years before moving in June 2009 to Melbourne, Fla.

A Hempstead native who lived there most of her life until shortly after her marriage in 1960, she was a 1952 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Douglass College of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.

She had majored in Spanish and then worked in Manhattan as a bilingual secretary before getting a Ford Foundation scholarship to Yale University, where she earned a master's degree in education.

She went on to teach elementary Spanish in several Long Island schools.

Her husband, with whom she was just over two weeks away from celebrating their 50th anniversary at her death, said she set aside her career to raise their three children.

"After they were grown, she resumed teaching while earning a second MA in English as a Second Language," he said.

She also taught German to adults in night school in Hicksville, and most of her students, "responding to the personal warmth and humor that marked her teaching style," said her husband, "became lifelong friends." He added that one of them was John Breitfeller, who married her sister, Louise. "This matchmaking was one of her proudest accomplishments," he said.

She was an active member of Gloria Dei Evangelical Lutheran Church in Huntington Station and was a prime mover in arranging the church's sponsorship of a Laotian family that immigrated to Long Island, he said.

Marianne Hadjin enjoyed volunteer work, serving at various times with Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, the Suffolk Developmental Center, the now defunct Huntington Concert Association and other organizations, her husband said.

He said they traveled extensively, and she took special delight in ethnic cooking and singing and in engaging others in conversation. He said she will be remembered for making dear friends out of a single conversation and for extending her family circle to include a host of honorary relatives in Germany and Mexico.

"She asked the neighborhood children to call her 'Aunt Marianne,' so I became 'Uncle Jim,' " her husband said.

Besides her husband, survivors include sons Doug of Delmar, N.Y., and Tom of Exton, Pa.; a daughter, Jennifer Maxfield of Edmonton, Alberta; a sister, Louise Breitfeller, of Melbourne, Fla.; and nine grandchildren.

A funeral was held Saturday at the Advent Lutheran Church in Melbourne. She will be cremated.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the Mastocytosis Society, P.O. Box 731, Brenham, TX. 77834

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