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Remembering Sister Mary Irene Kane

Posted March 22, 2019 in Obituaries

Sister Mary Irene spent her entire 56-year ministry career in elementary education, 45 as classroom teacher or principal and 11 as co-director or tutor in the Ursuline Institute of Learning. The congenial and faith-filled woman with the twinkling blue eyes died March 22 at Regina Health Center (RHC) in Richfield where she had been in residence since May 2017. She was 80 years old.

Mary Rita Kane was born July 15, 1938 in Youngstown, Ohio, the third daughter born to Francis and Florence (Carroll) Kane. Tragically, Florence died in childbirth two years later. Within a few years’ time Francis married Rosemary Austgen and together they had five children, expanding the Kane offspring to eight.

Mary graduated from the former St. Mary High School in Cuyahoga Falls in 1956 and within months  joined the Ursuline congregation from St. Joseph Parish, Cuyahoga Falls. At her reception ceremony she was given the name Mary Irene.  She professed final vows in 1962. She earned bachelor and master’s degrees in education from St. John College.

She began her teaching career in Grade 2 at St. Charles Borromeo School in Parma. She also enjoyed teaching tenures at St. Clare (Lyndhurst), St. Ann (Cleveland Heights), St. John Bosco (Parma Heights), Christ the King (East Cleveland) and St. Joseph (Avon Lake) where she also served six years as principal.

Sister Mary Irene retired from classroom teaching in 2006 and moved to the motherhouse to serve as co-director and tutor in the Ursuline Institute of Learning. She also served as transportation coordinator at the motherhouse until her move to Richfield. While in residence at Regina, Sister Mary Irene helped facilitate communications between the motherhouse and her Ursuline community at RHC.

Sister Mary Irene will be remembered for her warm and friendly personality and as one whose devotion to family and community spanned a lifetime. She was a committed and prayerful religious, and a loving sister, aunt, and friend.

She is survived by siblings Kathleen Petrovic, Ann Laubert, John Kane, Edward Kane (Carol), Susan Kane, Christine Kane and James Kane (Patti), and many nieces and nephews.

Donations in Sister Mary Irene’s memory can be made to the Ursuline Sisters.

Funeral services for Sister Mary Irene


Services will be held in the chapel at Regina Health Center

5232 Broadview Rd., Richfield, OH.

Wake: 9:30 a.m. Thursday, March 28

Funeral Mass: 11:00 a.m. Thursday, March 28

Burial: Meet at All Souls Cemetery at 2:15 p.m.