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Friday, December 09, 2005

Educator, union leader dies

THE JOURNAL NEWS - Westchester,NY,USA
Longtime educator Richard T. Mullin, who for 30 years was president of the East Ramapo Teachers Association, died yesterday morning from complications of Lyme disease. He was 80.

"He was tough," said Georgine Hyde, who was an East Ramapo Board of Education member for much of his tenure and negotiated with him over union matters. "He was a very competent guy in his field, and he was a nice guy."

Mullin was born May 18, 1925, in Michigan to Edward and Ethel Bruckel Mullin. He attended schools in New Milford, N.J. After graduating from high school, he entered the Army and was stationed in Italy, where he was a member of the Fifth Army, 88th Infantry Division, the "Blue Devils," during World War II.

As a radioman, he won a Bronze Star for bravery in action. He was also in the Army during the Korean War. He attended Seton Hall University after leaving the military, graduating with a teaching degree in 1958.

He and Audrey Hartye were married May 28, 1955, in St. Peter's Church in Clifton, N.J.

The family moved to Rockland in 1962, into a house Mullin built in Blauvelt and where he lived until his death. He was hired by East Ramapo schools in 1962 as an English teacher and was as teacher and English Department chairman at Ramapo High School until 1995, when he retired.

His daughter said one of his passions was the teachers union.

"The East Ramapo Teachers Association has suffered a great loss with the passing of our former president, Richard T. Mullin," said Irene Bielski, the current president of the East Ramapo Teachers Association. "Mr. Mullin was instrumental in establishing and shaping the teachers association. His dedication to both the teachers and students of the district, throughout his well over 30 years of service, has left a mark on East Ramapo, which cannot be surpassed. He was the ultimate professional and will be missed tremendously."

Kyle Mullin Kitchenman described her father as a man of humor and principle who loved his family and had a special bond with his grandson, Willy, now a student at SUNY Cortland.

Survivors include his wife of Blauvelt; two daughters, Kerry Mullin Beckmann of Blauvelt and Kyle Mullin Kitchenman of Warwick, N.Y.; and two grandchildren. A brother, Edward "Micky" Mullin, died earlier.

Arrangements are under the direction of Moritz Funeral Home in Tappan, where calling hours will be from 7 to 9 p.m. today and from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. tomorrow. A Mass of the Christian Burial will celebrated be at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Catharine's Catholic Church in Blauvelt. A private family burial will be in Greenbush Cemetery.

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