Dr. Virginia Mercedes McCauley

Educator, Dog Lover and Devoted Daughter, Mother and Nana, 98

Dr. Virginia M. McCauley, 98, passed away peacefully on Sunday, August 9, 2020.

Virginia is survived by her daughter and son-in-law Dr. Diane Fellows (former Principal in Franklin Lakes, NJ and Superintendent of Schools in Alpine, NJ) and George Fellows of Jupiter, FL; her grandson Brian Orlando and his wife Andrea Orlando; her grandson Justin Orlando and his wife Minna Rhee of New York, NY; her granddaughter Julie Fellows Crow of Marietta, GA; her granddaughter Dana Fellows of Ft. Lee, NJ; and her Great-Grandchildren Lily, Michael, Sophia and Sebastian Orlando of New York, NY and Tyler and Evan Crow of Marietta, GA.

Virginia was born on October 14, 1921 in Brooklyn, NY. She grew up in Queens, NY.  She was married to Joseph A. McCauley, Sr. with whom she had two children, Joseph and Diane. She married a second time to William Cook in 1998.

She received a BA in English from Hunter College, an MA in Education from Queens College and an EdD in Education from Fordham University. She taught at Meadowbrook Elementary School on Long Island. She moved to Palisades NY in 1963 and began teaching English at Spring Valley High School and Ramapo High School. After retiring from Ramapo High School in 1993, she taught at Fordham University and St. Thomas Aquinas College.

She remained incredibly active in the community throughout her life. She was a member of the Northern New Jersey German Shepherd Dog Club where she showed her prize-winning German Shepherds. She was also on the Library and Senior Citizens Committees in Palisades, NY.  She never lost the desire to teach and continued tutoring writing and composition into her 90’s. She was an active member at the St. John’s Church in Piermont NY, singing in the choir and participating in religious and community events. Virtual funeral services will be held at St. John’s (stjohnspiermont.org) at 10:30am on Wednesday, August 12th. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the St. John’s Church for the Dr. Virginia M. McCauley Fund for Education.  


  1. A TRULY special teacher to me. “It’s complicated” doesn’t say it. I was a member of the first graduating class of Ramapo High School and went to Harvard (among other places!) from there. Mrs. McCauley (as she always insisted on being called) was instrumental in so many ways to me.

    Jack W. Klein

    I’d love to be in touch with either of her children or…???

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