Ridge grieves: McKinley teacher Anita Seminara dies at 85

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Retired Bay Ridge math teacher Anita Seminara, whose devotion to her students equaled her tireless service to her community, died on May 20 after a long illness. She was 85 years old.

Anita was a beloved, longtime teacher at William McKinley Junior High School, where she endeared herself to students with her cheerful personality and a canny knack for making even algebra absorbing.

Born on Aug. 24, 1930, Anita graduated from Bay Ridge High School and Brooklyn College. She also taught for a while in Arkansas where she followed her husband, Joseph Seminara, a military attorney stationed in Fort Smith.

Joe and Anita were both active in many Bay Ridge organizations. Anita sat on the Board of the Bay Ridge Day Nursery and in the Bay Ridge Forum, where she served one term as president and was known for participating in the group’s famous roasts. Her husband was a member of Community School Board 20 in the 1960s, and wrote a local political column.

The couple passed on its love of civic engagement to daughter, Joanne — a well-known community leader who has served on Community Board 10 for 22 years and is the Democratic state committee woman for the 64th Assembly District — while leaving Bay Ridge better off for having known them, said friends.

“Anita and Joe were an exceptional couple, very community minded and public spirited,” said Ridge activist Ted General.

The pair’s other three children, Juliette Campasano, and Joseph and Frank Seminara live in New Jersey. Frank is also known in the community because he became a major league pitcher, playing for the San Diego Padres and the New York Mets after attending Xavarian and Columbia.

Anita Seminara was buried at Green-Wood Cemetery

— Shavana Abruzzo.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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