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Sister M. Sheila Kearns

Posted April 12, 2018 in Obituaries

Choir Director, Teacher, Community Minister

Grade school students of the 50s and 60s experienced the rigors of singing in a choir under the tutelage of Sister M. Sheila. Gifted with a beautiful voice, and following in the steps of her namesake Saint Cecilia, patron saint of music, Sister Sheila sought to share her love of music while cultivating it in her charges. The former choir director, elementary school teacher, library assistant and community minister died peacefully and unexpectedly April 12 at Regina Health Center where she had been in residence five years. The 93-year-old was to have marked her 75th jubilee April 15.

Aileen Mary Kearns was born September 14, 1924 in Cleveland, the only daughter of Martin and Brigid (Morgan) Kearns, and sister to six brothers. The Collinwood resident graduated from Villa Angela Academy in 1942 and eight months later entered the Ursuline community from St. Joseph Parish. She professed final vows August 25, 1948.

Sister Sheila, like many of her contemporaries, earned her undergraduate degree attending Saturday and summer classes at St. John College, while also engaging in full-time teaching during the week. She was awarded her degree in 1959.

Her 23-year education career included tenures at St. Philomena and Christ the King schools in East Cleveland, St. Joseph schools in Collinwood and Avon Lake and, finally, St. Timothy School, Garfield Heights. After leaving the classroom, Sister Sheila served five years in the library at Ursuline College.

Her final formal ministry – and her longest – was in community service, assisting the congregational treasurer 37 years. Sister Sheila retired in 2004 and continued to engage in the ministry of prayer, service and presence.

Sister Sheila is survived by sisters-in-law Helen Kearns and Eileen Kearns, nieces and nephews. Her parents and brothers Martin, James, John, William, Edward and Gerald preceded her in death.

She will be remembered as a hard-working and faith-filled religious, a loyal friend, and devoted family member.

Donations in her memory can be made to the Ministry Fund of the Ursuline Sisters.


Funeral Service Details

Chapel of the Most Holy Trinity

Ursuline Motherhouse, 2600 Lander Road

Wake Service: 3:00 PM, Thursday, April 19

Funeral Mass: 7:00 PM Thursday

Burial Service: 9:30 AM Friday, April 20

Interment will follow at All Souls Cemetery, Chardon.