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Remembering Sister John Mary

Posted November 06, 2019 in Obituaries

Sister John Mary Blaser’s 70 years of service as an Ursuline ran the gamut from education to congregational leadership to financial administration to the ministry of prayer, each carried out with professionalism and dedication. The highly respected and beloved community member died November 5 – one week short of her 90thbirthday -- at Regina Health Center in Richfield where she had lived since August 2016.

Mary Virginia Blaser was born November 12, 1929, in Cleveland, the second youngest of nine children born to John and Emma (Dondelinger) Blaser. The Ursuline Academy of the Sacred Heart graduate entered the Ursulines September 8, 1947 from Christ the King Parish in East Cleveland, and professed final vows in 1953. She earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in mathematics from Ursuline College and the University of Detroit, respectively.

Sister John Mary began her teaching career at the elementary level, serving at St. Joseph (Collinwood), Our Lady of Peace and St. Catharine schools in Cleveland, St. Clare (Lyndhurst) and St. Francis de Sales (Parma). In 1968 she transitioned to secondary education at Beaumont School, first as a teacher and later as principal.

In 1980 Sister John Mary was elected to congregational leadership. Perhaps the most poignant memory of her eight-year tenure was traveling to Washington D.C. to identify the remains of Sister Dorothy Kazel who, with three other missionaries, was murdered in El Salvador December 2, 1980. Mother Bartholomew, Sister John Mary and the rest of the Council guided the congregation through that heart-wrenching chapter in Ursuline history.

In 1988 the congregation called upon Sister John Mary’s mathematical acumen and tapped her for service as congregational treasurer, a position she held 15 years.

In her last years she pursued her interest in genealogy and began work on a family tree. She also returned to her education roots and provided tutoring services through the Ursuline Institute of Learning for students of varying ages. Just this past summer she assisted a young man with his study of calculus.

Sister John Mary will be remembered for her quiet way and for her tireless service to the congregation. She was a committed and faith-filled Ursuline, a dedicated educator and administrator, a loving sister and aunt, and a loyal friend.

She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers William, Charles, Eugene, John and Joseph, and sisters Barbara Blaser, Marjorie Krupansky, and Carolyn Elliot. She is survived by nieces and nephews.

Donations in Sister John Mary’s name may be made to the Ursuline Sisters.

Services for Sister John Mary will be held in the chapel at Regina Health Center, 5232 Broadview Rd., Richfield, OH.

Wake: 10:00 a.m. Monday, November 11

Funeral Mass: 11:00 a.m. Monday, November 11

Burial: All Souls Cemetery