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Bayside education activist McGlinchey dies at age 80

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Longtime Bayside resident and education activist Elizabeth Constance McGlinchey, who worked in a variety of community groups between the 1940s and the 1990s, has died. She was 80.

McGlinchey, known as Connie, came from a family with a long history of community activism in Bayside. Her brother, Lou Theiss, was a Bayside accountant who had a lengthy civic career, including work with the Bayside Kiwanis Club and the Queens Chamber of Commerce. Theiss died last year at the age of 75.

McGlinchey, who died Feb. 1, was an educator who tested students for reading problems in her home when her seven children were young, daughter Mary McGlinchey said.

“It was probably one of the things she was best known for,” Mary McGlinchey said.

A 1943 graduate of St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn, McGlinchey got her master’s degree from Columbia University’s Teachers College that same year. She served in a wide array of educational roles, from lecturing at area colleges, teaching and serving as a reading specialist to directing her own school in the 1970s. From 1963 to 1965, McGlinchey was a member of Bayside’s School Board 26.

The Baysider was often recognized for her educational work as well as her specialty, the educational testing of brain-injured children.

In 1969 McGlinchey won a service award from the New York Association for Brain Injured Children, and in 1975 she was included in a California group’s profile of “Outstanding Teachers in Exceptional Education.”

Her civic activities were just as vaunted, and in 1988 McGlinchey was the first woman on Long Island to get an Individual Achievement Award from Kiwanis International for her strong commitment to the group.

McGlinchey also participated in the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, Sacred Heart School in Bayside, St. Joseph’s College Alumni Association, and the East Bayside Homeowner’s Association.

EBHA President Frank Skala, who credits McGlinchey with helping him start the group in the 1970s, called her “a woman for all seasons.”

McGlinchey also worked as a travel agent, counselor, saleswoman and until 1998 was an Avon sales representative.

Mary McGlinchey said her mother’s varied work and community activism reflected her personality.

“I think she was a very caring and committed person, very independent and social,” Mary McGlinchey said. “She was a person who loved children and who loved being active.”

Besides her daughter, McGlinchey is survived by a sister, Mary Lou Smith, of North Carolina, six other children and 12 grandchildren. She was the widow of John J. McGlinchey Sr.

A funeral mass was held for McGlinchey at Sacred Heart Church in Bayside, where she was an active member. She was buried in Calverton National Cemetery on Long Island.

The family requests that memorial donations be directed to St. Joseph’s College Child Study Department, 245 Clinton Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11205.

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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