Obituary of Constance A. Orban
Constance “Connie” Allayne Orban passed away peacefully at the age of 83 in New Brunswick, New Jersey on February 2, 2023, after a long illness. Connie is survived by her three children, Victoria (Gardiner), Kenneth, and Kevin; and by her granddaughter, Allayna Brooke Gardiner.
Connie earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio in 1960, leading to her first job in teaching near Akron, Ohio, where she originally grew up. Hoping to escape the harsh winters of northern Ohio, she moved to East Brunswick, New Jersey in 1963 and landed her first job as a math and science teacher for Churchill Junior High School, where she taught for the next five years. After marrying her husband of 47 years, Robert, Connie took time off to raise a family, but she eventually returned to teaching, first at the Bowne Munroe Elementary School and then the Smith Elementary School, before returning to Churchill to teach eighth-grade science for the remainder of her career, ultimately retiring in 2000. During her time away from teaching, Connie continued to remain involved in the education system in her community by serving on the Dayton Dean’s Elementary School PTA, including a year as their President, and by serving on the South Brunswick Board of Education, but it was her return to Churchill that set Connie on a path to change the course of teaching science in New Jersey. While at Churchill, Connie was recognized as one of the best science teachers in the state, beginning with the New Jersey Science Teachers Association (NJSTA) Sigma Xi Award for Teacher of the Year in 1991, and again by the New Jersey State Assembly with the Governor’s Award for Teacher of the Year in 1993.
Connie’s commitment to bettering the science education of grade-school students across New Jersey led her to become actively involved in NJSTA, first serving as the association’s General Manager and then as an officer of the Board, including as the President of the Board where she established NJSTA Science Workshops in North Brunswick, Vineland, Mays Landing, Blackwood, and West Windsor. Her dedication led to the founding of the New Jersey Science Olympiad in 1993, part of the National Science Olympiad, which began with 13 local schools and has now grown to over 300 schools across the state. Connie was recognized for this accomplishment by being elected a Fellow of NJSTA in 1993, but it was her dedication and hard work over the following decade that led to her to being presented the NJSTA Citation Scroll in 2004 for “a person that has made an outstanding contribution to science and/or science education”. Connie also served as the President for the Science Coalition of New Jersey, she worked for over a decade with the New Jersey Science Convention, and she served as the first Director of the Chemical Education for Population Understanding Program - all statewide programs dedicated to furthering the advancement of science education in New Jersey. Connie’s experience and knowledge led to invitations to present at the National Science Teachers Association conferences in Anaheim, New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Atlanta, Houston, and Pittsburgh, and to serve as the “Teacher Trainer” for conferences at Seton Hall University and St. Elizabeth University.
While Connie’s career was dedicated to teaching others, her personal passions were centered around nature, the arts, and Broadway (having seen over 100 musicals in her lifetime, many of them alongside her granddaughter). She was a certified Master Gardener with the Rutger’s Master Gardeners, where she spearheaded the construction of the Butterfly House at Davidson’s Mill Park and served as a help-line volunteer for nearly eight years. Connie also served on the Board of the New Jersey State Aquarium in Camden, allowing her to extend her science expertise beyond teaching.
Connie was also very active and played sports with her friends throughout her life, such as tennis and golf, and after moving to Rossmoor in Monroe Township in 2012, Connie became actively involved in the community garden and joined the Kiwanis Club. Connie was also musically gifted and loved playing the piano. She began playing piano at a very young age, played her entire life, and then began taking lessons again in her seventies, mastering several classical pieces that she played on her prized baby grand piano. Connie was a consummate learner who never stopped improving herself, and everyone around her, and the impact she has had on so many lives will never be forgotten.
Visitation will be 2pm to 3pm on Wednesday February 8, 2023 at the M. David DeMarco Funeral Home, Inc. - 205 Rhode Hall Rd., Monroe Twp., NJ 08831. Funeral services will begin at 3pm following the visitation.
In lieu of flowers and for those who desire, contributions may be made in Constance’s memory to the American Cancer Society www.cancer.org
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In Loving Memory
1939 - 2023
Thomas J. DeMarco, Manager,
N. J. Lic. No. 4651
205 Rhode Hall Road | Monroe Township
| New Jersey | 08831 |
Phone: (732) 521-0555 |