In Memory

Sister M. Charlene Templeton, IHM

November 22, 1922 – July 16, 2022

Charlene Templeton, IHM

Sister M. Charlene Templeton, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Saturday, July 16, 2022, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA.

She was born on November 22, 1922, in Wilkes-Barre, PA, and given the name Ruth Agnes. She was the daughter of the late Arthur David and Agnes Regina McGeehan Templeton. She entered the IHM Congregation on February 2, 1944, and made her temporary profession of vows on August 2, 1946, and her final profession of vows on August 2, 1949. Sister Charlene received a Bachelor of Science degree in education, and a Master of Science degree in elementary education, both from Marywood College.

Sister Charlene served as a teacher in the following schools: Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Elementary School in Forest Hills, NY, from 1946 to 1950; St. Ephrem Elementary School in Brooklyn, NY, from 1950 to 1958; Immaculate Conception Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1958 to 1959; St. Michael’s School for Boys in Hoban Heights, PA, from 1959 to 1964; St. Thomas Elementary School in Providence, RI, from 1964 to 1965; St. John Elementary School in Pittston, PA, from 1965 to 1966; St. Leo Elementary School in Ashley, PA, from 1966 to 1975; St. Ann Elementary School in Devon, CT, from 1975 to 1976; St. Mary Elementary School in Hollidaysburg, PA, from 1976 to 1977; and St. Mary of the Mount Elementary School in Pittsburgh, PA, from 1977 to 1981.

Sister also served as receptionist at the Marian Convent in Scranton, PA, from 1981 to 1983; library assistant at St. Mary High School in Manhasset, NY, from 1983 to 1985; small group instructor at St. Mary Elementary School in Manhasset, NY, from 1985 to 1993; and receptionist at the IHM Center in Scranton, PA, from 1993 to 2007.

From 2007 until the time of her death, Sister Charlene was a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She was preceded in death by four brothers, Charles, Robert, Edward, and Arthur.

She is survived by nieces and nephews; grandnieces and grandnephews; and by the members of the IHM Congregation.

Interment will be at St. Catherine’s Cemetery in Moscow, PA. Due to restrictions related to the coronavirus, the funeral mass and graveside service are private.

Funeral Mass


Reflection given by Sister Katie Clauss, IHM Congregation President

Sister Charlene Templeton, funeral July 20, 2022

We gather this morning to celebrate and give thanks for the life of our Sister Charlene. For 76 years she listened and responded to the Word of God and served God and God’s people through a life of consecration and generous service.

We welcome and are most grateful to have Charlene’s niece, Jane Thomas and her husband Richard Thomas, and Charlene’s nephew Tom with us this morning, and several of her family members who are joining us online. We welcome you and are so grateful you could be here with us. Additionally, we welcome Father Mark our Passionist brother and celebrant who is with us today. Thank you, Father.

I would like to acknowledge and thank our OLP Administration and Staff for their professional and compassionate care of our Sisters and in particular for their goodness to Sister Charlene.

We sat as a leadership team on Monday morning remembering and shared our experiences of Sister Charlene. Each one of us recalled one very particular and consistent memory of her. We remembered the warmth of her smile. It was a smile that allowed you to feel welcome and safe in the moment, a moment that became a wonderful place. In thinking about our conversation, I was reminded of Mother Theresa of Calcutta’s advice to those with whom she came in contact. She counseled them to “Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”

Our Sister Charlene had a lifetime of practicing kindness in her smile on intermediate, junior high and high school students in the classroom and library and as a receptionist at the Marian Convent and the IHM Center. I suspect that each particular age of her students and those to whom she ministered required a different type of smile – the good work smile; the grin that said, “Yes, I see what you are doing: it wasn’t lost on me.” As a receptionist at the Marian Convent and IHM Center, it was the “Come in, you are welcome, how can I help you” smile. Surely, she had a special facial expression for her family and friends, one that reflected her love for them.

Over her lifetime of 99 years, how many moments with the young and the formerly young were transformed by Charlene’s kind and gracious smile as her smile expressed God’s kindness? In her honor today, let’s be intentional about the ways we look at one another; let’s remember in the words of a song from the musical, Annie, “you are never fully dressed, though you may wear your best, you’re never fully dressed without a smile.” Let’s allow our faces to reveal something of God’s unconditional love and care for each person we meet today.

I invite Jane to place Sister Charlene’s bible on her coffin as a reminder that Sister Charlene listened and responded to the Word of God and it is the Word of God who beckons her home.

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