It is with deep regret we share the loss of one of our own. On the evening of Dec. 15, 2019, Noreen Mantini passed away following a tough battle with cancer surrounded by family. An educator with DoDEA for almost 40 years in Baumholder and Ramstein school communities and school counselor at the Ramstein Intermediate School for over 15 years, Noreen touched the lives of countless students and families. Born in Pennsylvania, she was a true life-long learner, earning her Master’s degree and fluently speaking four languages while always ready to learn more. She worked initially as a gifted education teacher, then a counselor in the Baumholder and Ramstein schools, supporting military communities. Throughout her career, she was a passionate supporter of military-connected students and parents. Married to Terry Arbuckle, they raised three daughters who also attended DoDEA schools. As she easily talked with everyone, Noreen touched the lives of many people positively and will be greatly missed.
Noreen was an amazingly talented, professional, and kind lady with a zest for life, beautiful inside and out. Known for her kindness and compassion, Noreen’s work in spearheading Unity Day at our school was instrumental in this becoming an annual event to highlight kindness, acceptance, and inclusion. RIS became a sea of orange, with all joining together against bullying in song, words, and actions. Career Day is another event Noreen was known for in the Ramstein Community as she reached out to everyone she met who had a skill or gift to share with students (whether they realized it or not!) With this annual event Noreen was an advocate for all children and ardent supporter of RIS with everyone she met. Noreen was passionate about working with students of deployed parents through K4K. The annual Mock Deployment day was an event looked forward to by all – the students and the volunteers alike! She helped students understand how to navigate life. Ms. Mantini put RIS Jaguars first in all that she did.
A marvelous influence in the lives of everyone she met and inspiration for many, Noreen made a positive difference every day. Her work with children showed true caring while skillfully guiding each student to better behaviors and choices (often using bubbles!) while working respectfully with parents to explain and show understanding. It has been said she never made an enemy, showing kindness and a great sense of humor with her colleagues. Noreen was known to encourage peers “I appreciate you” and remind adults and children alike “You’ve got this,” helping all rise up to new opportunities. She supported people when faced with sadness, that “tears showed that you cared and loved.” When asked how it was possible to keep smiling when times were tough, Noreen would respond “why stop smiling?”
Her legacy will be one of compassion and love. Our world has lost an amazing gem.