Dr. Aileen W. Tobin passed away peacefully at home in Baltimore Monday, Aug. 26, 2013. Her husband Tom was at her side. Aileen was born July 9, 1949, in Milford.
In addition to her husband, Aileen is survived by her sister, Darlene Rust of Milton; four nephews, Tony Palladino, Rob Palladino, Andy Scotton and Alex Scotton; her niece, Mei Tobin; her great-nephew, Jake Palladino and two great-nieces, Rachel Palladino and Julie Geraldine Palladino.
Aileen was preceded in death by her father, Wilson Webster Webb - 1951, her grandmother Sally C. Webb - 1983, her sister Geraldine Webb Palladino - 1993, her mother Dorothy Benson Rust - 2003. Dorothy’s husband Carl Rust - 2000, her brother-in-law Eddie Scotton - 2001, her mother-in-law Zelda “Peg” Tobin - 2009 and two baby brothers - 1946 and 1947.
Aileen had a great ride. She was married to her best friend Tom for 42 years. She loved life, enjoyed travel, the art of Henri Matisse and spending time with her family - her mother and mother-in-law, her sister, Darlene, her nephews Tony, Rob, Andy and Alex, her niece Mei, her great-nephew Jake, her great-niece Rachel and especially her great-niece Julie. Aileen had a passion for reading and learning. People remember her as a little girl who always had a book in her hand. This summer she traveled to Nice and Provence in the South of France. She loved the beach - from Rehoboth Beach to Kaanapali Beach in Maui, Aruba, Fort Lauderdale and many others.
Aileen grew up in Ellendale and Milton. She attended elementary school in Ellendale and moved to Milton when she was in seventh grade. Aileen graduated from Milton High School in 1967 and was the valedictorian of her class.
Aileen had three degrees from the University of Delaware – a BA, cum laude in English and American studies (1971), an MEd in reading education (1975) and a PhD in learning, curriculum and instruction (1981).
Aileen was the director of the Delaware Tutoring Center from 1971 to 1974. In addition to supervising the staff, she was proud of the fact that she taught so many people to read, including one man in his 50s who had never learned to read.
From 1978 to 1982 Aileen was an adjunct assistant professor and instructor for the University of Delaware, College of Education and taught several undergraduate and graduate reading courses.
Aileen was a graduate teaching assistant in the College of Education, University of Delaware. She supervised advanced diagnostic and clinical practicums that were part of the MEd in reading curriculum.
Aileen was a staff associate for Research for Better Schools, Philadelphia, Pa.; a research associate for the University of Delaware Center for Educational Leadership and a consultant for New Castle County Vocational Technical School District, Wilmington, Delaware Public Schools and Capital School District in Dover. Aileen was a Right to Read consultant for the Dorchester County School District in Maryland. Aileen was a DuPont Fellow in the College of Education, University of Delaware and a doctoral intern at the state of Delaware Department of Public Instruction.
Aileen authored chapters in three books on reading and reading research. Aileen was a semifinalist for the Outstanding Dissertation Award by the American Educational Research Association. Aileen received the International Reading Association’s Milton D. Jacobson Readability Research Award. Aileen had numerous articles published in professional journals. She made presentations at many technical and professional education and reading conferences.
Aileen was a member of Kappa Delta Pi Honorary Society, American Educational Research Association, American Evaluation Association, International Reading Association, National Reading Conference, the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps Association, College Reading Association, Diamond State Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English.
Aileen began her service at the U.S. Army Ordnance Center and School, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md., in 1982.
In April 1993, Aileen became the first woman to lead a major directorate at the Ordnance Center and School when she was promoted to director of Quality Assurance.
One of Aileen’s more significant accomplishments was the Multicapable Maintainer initiative. This initiative entailed collapsing the skills, knowledge and abilities associated with hull and turret maintenance tasks associated with the M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle and the M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank into a systems maintainer for each platform. This initiative originally began in 1992 and became a reality as a direct result of Aileen’s detailed management of the program. As the program manager, Aileen personally managed and coordinated all of the aspects associated with making systems maintainers a reality. As a direct result of her work on this program, the Army now maintains high readiness rates for the Abrams and Bradley platforms.
Aileen retired in 2010 after 28 years of service with the U.S. Army Ordnance and School at Aberdeen Proving Grounds. At that time, she was the deputy to the commander, U.S. Army Ordnance Mechanical Maintenance School and the 61st Ordnance Brigade. Through her attention to detail and keen oversight, she led the brigade’s effort to achieve the Training and Doctrine Command’s (TRADOC) first Institute of Excellence rating during the 2009 TRADOC accreditation inspection.
Aileen was inducted into the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps Hall of Fame in 2012.
Aileen was a graduate of Army Staff Management College. Aileen received the Ordnance Corps Association Order of Samuel Sharpe in 1994. Aileen received the Federal Executive Board Silver Award for Excellence in 1992.
Aileen received numerous performance awards including a Department of the Army Superior Civilian Service Award in 1995 and 1998, and a Department of the Army Commander’s Award for Civilian Service in 1994.
Aileen set up and directed the U.S. Army Ordnance Center Emergency Operations Center, which would serve as the nerve center for the U.S Army Ordnance Corps following the events of Sept. 11, 2001. The Ordnance Center was responsible for 113,000 personnel engaged in performing mechanical and electronic maintenance, ammunition and munitions management and explosive ordnance disposal throughout the world. The center managed secret and top-secret communications and was manned 24/7.
Aileen was cited in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who of American Women. Aileen was proud to be an organ donor and would encourage others to “Donate Life.”
Celebration of Aileen’s Life will be held Saturday, Sept. 21, at Short Funeral Services, 416 Federal St., Milton. Visitation begins at noon; the celebration starts at 2 p.m.
An Ordnance Corps Association Scholarship has been established in Aileen’s name. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Aileen may be sent to Dr. Aileen W. Tobin, Ordnance Corps Association Scholarship, U.S. Army Ordnance Corps Association, P.O. Box 377, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD 21005.