Posted November 11, 2021 in Obituaries
Sister Mary George served generously for over 70 years, from the youngest of kindergarten students to the most elderly in our world. How many of us are able to adapt to the needs of five year olds and then reinvent ourselves as servants to those approaching the end of life? In her 93 years of life, Sister Mary George fed, taught, clothed, organized and cared for so many without fanfare or expectation of prestige.
Helen was born in 1928 to Susan and John and was baptized at St. Rose Church in Bradenville, Pennsylvania. She was the youngest sibling of brothers, John and George, and sisters, Mary and Dorothy. Her family moved to Cleveland in 1929 where she became a parishioner and elementary student at St. Wendelin. After graduating from grade school, Helen attended Jane Addams Vocational High School while she also worked as a “counter girl” at Republic Steel and Morris Cafeteria. Serving was clearly her gift, even at an early age.
In September 1946 Helen left her family home and entered the Ursuline Sisters where she attended Ursuline College for Women and St. John College for an undergraduate degree, followed by her M.S. in Home Economics Education at the University of Illinois. As Sister Mary George she taught for many years in elementary schools across the diocese, St. Joseph (Collinwood), St. Francis de Sales, St. Patrick, St. Therese, St. Timothy, St. Mary (Collinwood), St. William, Immaculate Conception (Cleveland), St. Mary Magdalene and St. Joseph School (Avon Lake). She also taught at Villa Angela Academy and Ursuline College.
Sister Mary George went on to a variety of roles after leaving the classroom. With her marvelous skills of organization, sewing and food preparation, she served as Coordinator of the Food Service and Hospitality at the motherhouse. She also tutored, served as Co-Manager of Beechview Manor in Pittsburgh, assisted in the library at Urban Community School and was Moderator of the Mothers and Friends of Ursuline Sisters. She created countless fruit cakes for the congregation to give as gifts. And novices learned how to sew veils and dresses for their professions under her capable guidance.
When the congregation was making the decision to embrace health care for our elderly at Regina Health Center, Sister Mary George was one of the first to step forward and support this innovative move. When she moved to Regina, she continued to sew for sisters and residents, blossoming in a new setting in her eighth decade of life.
Sister Mary George will be remembered for her great devotion to St. Joseph, for her ability to bring order where there was chaos, for her love of poetry, music and the polka. Although she was predeceased by her parents and siblings, her memory will be honored by community members and nieces and nephews.
Services for Sister Mary George will be held at St. Francis of Assissi Church in Gates Mills.
Funeral Mass: Monday, Nov. 15 at 10:00, Masks required. Livestream may be accessed through the parish website or this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN63nm7hpEBZ6Ghj2Q2Vo6g
Burial: All Souls Cemetery
Memorial donations may be made to the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland: https://www.ursulinesisters.org/support-us/donate
Arrangements by DeJohn-Flynn-Mylott