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Remembering Sister Ursula Marie

Posted April 17, 2024 in Obituaries

A Privilege and a Joy

“What a privilege and a joy!” wrote Sister Ursula Marie when recounting her Ursuline history, especially preparing young children to receive Jesus for the first time in the sacrament of the Eucharist. “What a privilege and a joy to know you!” we all echo back to this woman of devotion, generosity, exuberance and great love.

 Anna Marie was born in 1926 in Cleveland to Catherine and Thomas George. She grew up with her three brothers, Paul, Ralph and Roy, in Holy Cross Parish. She attended grades one through eight at the parish school, and then graduated from Euclid Shore High School. After graduation, Anna Marie entered the Ursuline congregation in 1946.

While teaching elementary school, Sister Ursula Marie professed vows and earned an undergraduate degree from St. John College. From 1948 until 1992, she served in a variety of schools, patiently teaching primary students to have a “loving relationship with Jesus,” and encouraging them to “become math whizzes and lovers of reading.” Sister Ursula Marie worked in the ministry of education at St. Philomena, St. Catharine, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Patrick and St. Patrick-St. Malachi, St. Therese, Immaculate Conception (Willoughby), St. Paul, St. Charles, St. Jerome and St. Francis de Sales. During this time, she also pursued graduate studies at Catholic University and St. John College.

After over 40 years in elementary education, Sister Ursula Marie served in a variety of ministries.  Her gifts of dedication, service, energy and humility were welcome as she gave her all at Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School, as secretary for both Science for Today and Tomorrow (SciTT) and the congregational Mission Effectiveness Office, in work at Beechview Manor and, finally, the ministry of prayer and service in any way she was called upon in her final years. Additional descriptors offered by sisters include loyalty, stability, caring, kindness, humorous, compassionate and fun loving.

Sister Ursula Marie was all of these things and more.  In her later years, she delved into several art forms, even selling a piece to a young couple who returned to the motherhouse for the artist’s signature. No one loved a party or an opportunity to wear a costume more than our sister.  Witty and engaging at the table, while on a drive or playfully making her way down the hall, we could always find her welcoming others and helping them to feel a part of community. A young student wrote a poem for her that Sister Ursula Marie kept.  It ended, “I like her and she likes me and that’s as plain as can be.” That was so simply said, and it still echoed true to Sister Ursula Marie’s last days among us.

Her final months of life were spent at Light of Hearts Villa and Menorah Park, where she was a gracious presence to staff and other residents.  On April 16, Sr. Ursula Marie entered into fullness of life with the God she served so willingly for nine decades of life. She leaves behind her nieces, Mary George and Ruth Lokenbauer, a nephew Steve George, her Ursuline Sisters with whom she shared 77 years of religious life, and countless students who love Jesus, math and reading – in that order. Truly, knowing her was a privilege and a joy for all of us.

 

A memorial mass for Sister Ursula Marie will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 6850 Mayfield Rd, Gates Mills at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 22. There will be no visitation.

Memorial donations may be made to the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland at 6085 Parkland Blvd., Suite 175, Mayfield Heights OH 44124 or www.ursulinesisters.org

 Arrangements by DeJohn-Flynn-Mylott.