Noreen O’Reilly (1939-2006)

Noreen O’Reilly (1939-2006)

One definition of a Teacher:
In education, teachers are those who help students or pupils learn, often in a school. The objective is typically a course of study, lesson plan, or a practical skill, including learning and thinking skills. The different ways to teach are often referred to as the teacher’s pedagogy. When deciding what teaching method to use, a teacher will need to consider students’ background knowledge, environment, and their learning goals as well as standardized curriculum as determined by their school district.

About Mrs. O’Reilly:
As my 7th and 8th grade English teacher, Mrs. O’Reilly challenged our class every Friday with written vocabulary tests. She also taught us the essentials of writing and composition—

  – You need a strong BEGINNING that clearly states one main idea.
  – The MIDDLE should contain 2-3 supporting paragraphs.
  – At the END, restate your main idea and tie everything together.

It’s because of her—now I can write really good. (LOL)

Mrs. O’Reilly was so much more that just a teacher. She was a friend. She took a personal interest in all of her students, held them to higher standards, and helped them to believe in themselves. She helped shape so many of us into confident young adults.

Religion was very important to Mrs. O’Reilly. She was a devout Catholic and talked about religion with so much passion and conviction. At one point she had me believing I was Irish-Catholic, too.  She cherished prayers. I remember how she used to close her eyes when saying prayers at Mass, but you could see her looking out of the corner of one eye to make sure we weren’t goofing off. She’s right, prayers have special power. So today, Mrs. O’Reilly, I pray for your eternal soul and spirit. I also pray for your family as they mourn your death and celebrate your wonderful life.  And I will continue to say prayers of thanks for the impact you made in my life and in the lives of so many others. You will never be forgotten.

Noreen O’Reilly battled cancer over the past several months, and passed away on Friday, October 20, 2006.

Memorial service – Wed 10/25 @ 7pm
Funeral – Thur 10/26 @ 11am
Both will take place at St. Anne’s Church (SF) obituary (Read the guestbook, it’s awesome)


4 Responses to “Noreen O’Reilly (1939-2006)”

  1. Nancy Says:

    My mom told me recently that my 7/8th grade English teacher had passed away. I was truly saddened when I heard the news about Mrs O’Reily. Were it not for her, my spoken and written language skills would be dismal. Words like “malevolent and acquiescence” wouldn’t be a part of my lexicon.

    I grew up across the street from Mrs. O’Reily and had the benefit of knowing her as a neighbor as well as a teacher. When I did a google search of her name, I came across your blog. I just wanted to thank you for your dedication. Other than your post and the obituary on SFGate, I found nothing. A shame for a women who had such an impact on so many lives.

    Thank you again,

    Nancy DeMartini-Bailey
    Gilroy, CA
    St Anne’s Class of 1980


    Mrs. O’Reilly was also my 7th and 8th grade English teacher (1977 to 1979). If it weren’t for her unwavering strict discipline, my verbal abilities would not show any class or intelligence.

    I was looking for a photograph, and came across this article. Having moved from San Francisco to Virginia (with three other states in between) with my former-military husband in the past fouteen years; I lost touch with virtually everyone with whom I had grown up.

    This news about Mrs. O’Reilly’s passing has saddened me. I wish I had publicly recognized her impact in my life and thanked her sooner.

    Very Respectfully,
    Veronica M. Suzara-Perry
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Class of 1979

  3. Nathanm Cho Says:

    I am very glad to have stumbled upon this website. They certainly do not make teacher like her anymore. She was hard and when I was in school, a hard-grader was a bad thing. Today I realize that she pushed us all toward academic excellence, especially with the vocab. I actually still have my vocab spiral notebook in the garage. In 1996 a group of six Chinese-American students, myself included, decided to become Catholic. It was Mrs. O’Reilly who assisted us. I remember passing by her home on 18th Avenue one day with a group of classmates, all of us intimidated.

    I am very saddened that she is no longer with us and no longer teaching a new generation of students. Eternal rest grant unto her.

  4. Maureen Maloney Gorski Says:

    I met Noreen O’Reilly in 1978. I was hired as a new 5th grade teacher at St Anne ‘s. How fortunate I was to have her as a mentor !
    Her passion,strong commitment, and indeniable charm will always resonate in my mind.

    Maureen Maloney Gorski

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