Former Principal's Wife Passes Away
Jean Cushman, the widow of former Huntington High School Principal Robert Cushman, passed away on February 18 in Cresskill, New Jersey. She was 87 years old and had been a familiar figure around Huntington for more than 50 years.
Mr. Cushman came to Huntington in September 1938 as a ninth grade social studies teacher. He became principal in July 1950 and stayed in the post until he retired in 1968. He helped develop a modern high school program and oversaw the transition from the old high school building on Main Street (now town hall) to the new building constructed on the grounds of the former H. Bellas Hess estate on the corner of Oakwood and McKay Roads.
Jean Burger (Mrs. Cushman's maiden name), was raised in Westport, New York and earned a bachelor's degree at Wells College. After graduating, she moved to Manhattan and worked for publisher Simon & Schuster in the children's books division. She married Mr. Cushman in 1949. The couple settled in Huntington, residing at 13 Merrill Place and later at 16 East Elm Street.
Mrs. Cushman obtained a master's degree at Columbia University's Teacher's College and was an English teacher for 19 years in the Syosset School District at South Woods Junior High School. She was a published author, penning "We Help Mommy" in 1959 and "Do You Wanna Bet?" a probability book for children. The books proved to be popular and were even translated into French. They are still in print and available for order online.
Mr. and Mrs. Cushman were respected members of the community. He was an elder in the Old First Church (located across from the old Huntington High School on Main Street) and Sunday school teacher and he participated in a host of community, civic and cultural activities.
Mr. Cushman lived out an active retirement, which included founding Meals on Wheels of Huntington in 1977 with six other individuals. He Cushman passed away at home on May 6, 1996 at the age of 85. A memorial service was held on May 9 at 3 p.m. at the Old First Church on Main Street.
Mrs. Cushman was also active in Meals on Wheels delivering meals to homebound individuals. She also worked as a Heckscher Museum docent and volunteered as an ESL tutor and at the Planting Fields Arboretum. She thoroughly enjoyed reading, gardening, cross-country skiing and going on walks to take in Long Island's natural beauty.
Mrs. Cushman leaves behind two daughters, Martha and Mary and a son, Robert A. Jr., as well as a granddaughter, Julia Daly. A memorial service was held at First Presbyterian Church in Northport on March 12 at 3 p.m. Donations in her memory can be sent to the Planting Fields Arboretum, PO Box 660, Oyster Bay, NY 11771.