Maribeth Lombardi taught theology at St. Thomas More High School from 1991 through 2011. She passed away on May 31, 2021. During her 20 years at St. Thomas More, Lombardi left a profound impact on countless students.
One of those students, Jamie Robarge (STM ’09), shares this reflection on Mrs. Lombardi.
Mrs. Maribeth Lombardi loved God and was always so strong in her faith. She never held her tongue about how she felt, but she never judged others for holding beliefs that were different from her own, either. She was the most passionate teacher I’ve ever had, and she LOVED her students.
I’ll never forget a morality class where we made our “bucket lists” — all the things we wanted to do before we died. The top of my list said, “get in a physical altercation.” I had never fought anyone before, and she brought this up to me for YEARS after. She laughed and told me she could never picture me laying hands on someone; she was right.
After graduating high school, we stayed in touch. She retired from teaching earlier than expected but was passionate about continuing her relationships with students.
She ALWAYS supported my photography business. It started with her and her husband, Pat, posing for my senior thesis project at MIAD in 2015. They attended the show and everything.
When the COVID lockdown happened in 2020, she knew we were struggling, so she sent me an envelope with a little bit of money in it. My son and I went to visit her at home. She had muffins and cookies and insisted on us taking some home. We brought them meals, and she and Pat posed for my “6 ft.” project.
She referred my photography services to everyone she knew. I was fortunate to photograph her granddaughter last year and will photograph another one of her grandchildren this fall.
During the election last year, we didn’t agree on some topics. We talked about it, though, and we listened to one another with love and respect.
Mrs. Lombardi, I graduated 12 years ago, but I still can’t call you Maribeth (even though you wanted me to!). I’ll miss seeing your comments on my social media, getting random phone calls from you, and having you participate in my photo series.
You will be missed dearly, and I know that you’re in a place of peace. Rest easy, Mrs. Lombardi.
– Jamie Robarge (STM ’09)
Lombardi with Robarge (right) and the late Sergio Luevano (STM ’09)