NY Assistant Principal, 42, Dies of Coronavirus

March 30, 2020 - 5:04 pm

A beloved assistant principal at an all-girls Catholic high school in Queens has died of coronavirus.

Joseph Lewinger, 42, who served as a basketball coach, athletic director and teacher during his 20 years at The Mary Louis Academy, died Saturday night.

“His love for Mary Louis was always in evidence, particularly when he referred to himself as a Woman of Dignity!”  Principal Ann O’Hagan-Cordes wrote on Twitter. “I know we feel the need to come together, to console each other, to hug, cry, scream and say it’s not fair. Sadly the time for us to do that as a community has to wait. We will gather together at some point, when our city can come out of isolation, to share our memories of Mr. Lewinger — J Lew — and there are many wonderful memories to share, but for now, we pray for the strength to get through this.”

The New York Post reports Lewinger died just a days after the virus claimed the life of the school's assistant basketball coach, Dave Edwards.

According to The New York Daily News, Lewinger won 100 games and two state titles during his 11 years as coach. He twice set aside his coaching duties as two of his children battled cancer.

Since 2015, Lewinger served on the Board of Education in the Franklin Square Union Free School District, where he was board president in 2016.

“While the loss of any life to this terrible virus is tragic, the passing of one of our own hits us particularly hard,” Schools Superintendent Jared Bloom said in a statement. “Mr. Lewinger cared deeply about our district; he cared deeply about our community; he believed in our kids."

Lewinger is survived by his wife and three children.

“Joe dedicated his life to his family: his beautiful wife, Maura, whom he adored; his son, Jack, and daughters Madison and Maeve, all three of whom lit up his world,” O’Hagan-Cordes said.

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