In Memory

Sister Edith Fondecchia, IHM

December 13, 1926 – July 24, 2013

Edith Fondecchia, IHM

Sister Edith Fondecchia, IHM, (formerly known as Sister M. Editha) of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Wednesday, July 24, 2013, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA.

She was born on December 13, 1926, in Sayre, PA, and given the name Lydia. She was the daughter of the late John and Edith Georgia Fondecchia. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1945, made temporary profession of her vows on May 8, 1948, and final profession of her vows on August 2, 1951.

Sister Edith served as a teacher at the following schools: St. Patrick Elementary School in Oneida, NY, from 1948 to 1953; St. Ephrem Elementary School in Brooklyn, NY, from 1953 to 1960 and 1972 to 1981; St. Cecilia Elementary School in Exeter, PA, from 1960 to 1964; Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Elementary School in Forest Hills, NY, from 1964 to 1967; St. Mary Elementary School in Manhasset, NY, from 1968 to 1970; St. Rosalia Elementary School in Pittsburgh, PA, from 1970 to 1972; and Cathedral High School in New York, NY, from 1981 to 1983 and 1985 to 2004.

Sister served as principal at Holy Rosary Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1967 to 1968.

She lovingly cared for her aged parents in Sayre, PA, from 1983 to 1985.

From 2004 until 2009, Sister Edith served as a prayer minister at St. Ephrem Convent in Brooklyn, NY, and from 2009 until the time of her death, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She received a bachelor of science degree in elementary education/English from Marywood College.

She is proceeded in death by four sisters, Mary F. Stroud, Gloria F. Austin, Virginia and Lucy F. Mondun.

She is survived by a brother, John of Winter Haven, FL, nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be Tuesday, July 30, at 11:00 a.m. with Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Peace Residence, 2300 Adams Avenue in Scranton. Friends may call at Our Lady of Peace Residence on Monday, July 29, between 3:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. A prayer service will be held at 4:00 p.m. Interment will follow Mass on Tuesday at St. Catherine’s Cemetery in Moscow, PA.

Memorial contributions may be made to support the retired IHM Sisters c/o the IHM Sisters Retirement Fund, IHM Center, 2300 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA 18509.

Reprinted from “In Memoriam” section of Journey, Fall 2013 issue

Sister Edith Fondecchia was one of the kindest persons I ever met. It was this kindness that was the introduction to our forty year friendship. Upon arrival at Saint Ephrem Convent I received the chapel as a charge. Before the days of drip dry altar cloths, I starched, pressed, and placed the cloth on the altar. It vaguely resembled the Coney Island roller coaster. Sister Edith walked into the chapel and responded, “Dear Lord, take it off and give it to me.”

When she returned it, the altar cloth settled on the altar as flat as a sheet of paper. Thus, I began to know her as a kind person who would assist anyone at anytime, particularly the older Sisters with whom we lived. We visited the Marian Convent often.

Sister also loved a good time. She initiated many parties, particularly Halloween costume ones and her creativity was enjoyed by many.

She was an excellent teacher; her goal was not only to be sure each child learned, but also that he or she became a better person. Her students loved and respected her immensely. They knew she really cared about them and was always fair. A quote from a card sent by a student for her Golden Jubilee states: “Thank you for the powerful, positive impact that you had on my life when I was your student.

You taught me to be strong, fair, and to have the unfailing faith that has carried me through my life. I have passed your lessons on to my two boys, to my students, and to the patients I care for as a nurse. The creativity and wonder you encouraged in me as an eighth grader has been a driving force in my life. You taught me to believe in myself, to expect the best of other people, and to trust God to take care of the rest. When you reflect on the past fifty years, please count me among the many people whose lives were richer for having known you.”

I, too, am much richer for not only knowing her, but having her for a friend.

by Sister Francis Regis Vagt, IHM

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