Martha Jane Geissinger of Orient died peacefully at San Simeon by the Sound Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation on March 3, 2021. She was 82.
The daughter of William Geissinger and Martha Weeks Geissinger, Martha was born in White Plains, N.Y., on May 27, 1938. She grew up in Scarsdale and, in the summers, Mattituck — where, she liked to say, she learned to swim before she could walk. After graduating from Scarsdale High School and Mac-Murray College in Jacksonville, Ill., Martha began a 40-year career in private school education, primarily in New York City, as a teacher first of physical education and then science at the Chapin School, Grace Church School and Allen-Stevenson. She took a two-year timeout as the proprietor of the Hudson Emporium, a popular neighborhood store in the West Village, where she lived.
After earning an M.S. in educational administration at Bank Street College, she served as educational director of the Montclair Cooperative School in Montclair, N.J., and then as head of lower school at Friends Seminary in
Manhattan, from which she retired in 2004. Her relationships both with children under her care and with teachers under her watch were informed by her instinctive respect, astute powers of perception, cut-to-the-chase directness, humor and love.
Martha was predeceased by her brother, Robert, and is survived by her partner of 30 years, Monica Mayper of Orient.
Memorial donations to Oysterponds Historical Society, Orient Fire Department or North Fork Animal Welfare League would be welcomed.