Mercyhurst Magazine Spring 2014

Class notes

‘HURST LOSES TWO LONG-TIME SISTERS OF MERCY Two long-time Sisters of Mercy with special ties to Mercyhurst have died recently. Sister Jeannette Denslinger, RSM , who was believed to be the oldest living Mercyhurst alumna, died Jan. 31, 2014. She had marked her 101st birthday on Dec. 6, 2013, with a visit by Mercyhurst President Dr. Tom Gamble and his wife, Mary.

ALUMNI DEATHS Ellen Heintz Munson ‘38 Dorothy Szyplik ‘43 Jean Schanbacher Penman ‘45 Dorothy Barry Baldwin ‘46 Helen F. Calhoun ‘46 Dorothy Rodems Kunz ‘46 Barbara Fleming Butler ‘47 Anne Nickum Gazda ‘48 Audrey Welther Twiss ‘48 Sandra Bersani Wood ‘48 Cecile Jewell Wolszon ‘50 Elizabeth Russell Sottile ‘51 Patricia Cosgrove Dunning ‘53 Sr. Donna Marie Orton, RSM ‘53 Sr. Helen Jean Sullivan, RSM ‘53 Linda Collin ‘58 Sr. Jeannette Denslinger, RSM ‘58 Rosemary Crawford McGinley ‘59 Carol McGinty Rios ‘59 Anne Cavanaugh Toto ‘60 Evelyn Rinn Mitzel ‘61 Mary Ann Sabolski Sieczka ‘65 Louise Durr Guarnaccia ‘70 James Gallegos ‘76 Sally K. Walker ‘77 Karen Weston ‘78 Julie Vitelli Liebel ‘80 Toni Dillon ‘83 Mary Frances Wingerter Knight ‘88 Beverly Davis-Migliacci ‘91

SON OF: Dianne Ledoux Szeliga ‘56 (Frank Szeliga Jr.) BROTHER OF: Michael Smith ‘83 (Thomas Smith) SISTER OF: Monica Klos ‘84 (Marguerite Mazurana) FRIENDS OF THE UNIVERSITY: Bonney Daubenspeck Margaret Dwyer Dennis Martin Grace Gunster Tullio Katrina Weschler

Sister Jeannette had also lived longer than any other Sister of Mercy from the Erie community. A resident of the Mercy Care Center at the

Mercy Motherhouse, she was an avid reader and a lover of classical music who didn’t let her hearing and sight impairments get the best of her. She was 32 when she entered the Sisters of Mercy in 1944. She graduated from Mercyhurst in 1958 with a degree in music, earned a master’s degree, and went on to teach music in diocesan elementary schools and later at the Mercy Center of the Arts. Until 2009 she continued to give private music lessons at the motherhouse.

James Onk ‘96 Bruce Smith ‘96 Sherry Howland ‘04 Adam Rowley ‘09 HUSBAND OF: Norma Nientimp Desser ‘59 (Daniel Desser) Rosemary Reo Fails ‘64 (Harry Fails) Susan Dieteman Schmitt ‘72 (Robert Schmitt) MOTHER OF: Deborah Doucett ‘72 (Susan Doucett Nickerson) Christine Sabatelli Sonnone ‘75 (Elizabeth Sabatelli) Valerie Kaminski Laufenberg ‘82 (Dolores Kaminski) Terry Colvin ‘85 (Irene Heberlein Colvin) FATHER OF: Valerie Sherrange Crofoot ‘76 (Charles Sherrange, also brother-in-law of Carole Amenta Kingsley ‘62 and grandfather of Emily Crofoot ‘04 ) Pierre Priestly, Esq. ‘81 ( Charles Priestly) James Cooney ‘98 ( Richard Lanser)

Sister Helen Jean Sullivan, RSM , a music faculty member at Mercyhurst for more than 50 years, died March 8, 2014.

She began her music studies at Mercyhurst, received her bachelor’s degree in music with a

major in voice from the New England Conservatory and a master’s of liturgical music from the University of Notre Dame, and studied voice at the Royal Conservatory of Toronto. She taught voice and piano with equal ease. After teaching in elementary schools from 1947 to 1952, she joined the faculty at Mercyhurst and remained here until retiring in 2005. Besides her work with college students, Sister Helen Jean founded the conservatory that still ofers music classes to young people. In 2008, Mercyhurst named it the Sullivan Conservatory of Music in her honor.


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