In Memory

Sister M. Petronilla Gehen, IHM

February 26, 1855 – February 25, 1929

Sister M. Petronilla Gehen, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Monday, February 25, 1929 at the Mercy Hospital in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

She was born on February 26, 1855 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and given the name Mary. She was the daughter of the late Matthias and Emily Barnes Gehen. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1882, received the religious habit on March 27, 1883, and made profession of her vows on April 6, 1885.

Sister Petronilla served as a German teacher at Marywood College, as well as at Marywood Seminary, both in Scranton, PA. She also served as a teacher and superior at the following schools: St. Andrew Parish School in Portland, OR, and St. John the Evangelist Elementary School in Bellefonte, PA; and as a music teacher at St. Mary Elementary School in Avoca, PA.

She is preceded in death by a two brothers, Charles and Frederick.

She is survived by the three brothers, Matthias M., William H., Herbert, five sisters, Mrs. Valentine Malburg, Mrs. E. Magdalena Haller, Mrs. Burton Wilder, Mrs. M. Heller, and Mrs. Minnie Fidiam, nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

The funeral will be on Wednesday, February 27 at 9:30 am in the Marywood College Chapel in Scranton, followed by interment at St. Catherine’s Cemetery in Moscow, Pennsylvania.
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.

Below is reprinted from obituary published in the Scranton newspaper shorty after her death:

” Sister M. Petronilla, of the order of Immaculate Heart of Mary died at noon yesterday at the Mercy Hospital after a short illness of pneumonia. She was 70 years of age and in her forty-fourth year of religious profession.

Sister M. Petronilla entered the convent forty-six years ago, and since that time she has given her devoted service in the mission schools of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in this vicinity, and in the West.

She will be remembered as a teacher of German at the opening of Marywood college, and taught there for several years. She also taught at the senior department of Marywood seminary. As the result of her untiring efforts to serve the order, she held the office of superior several times. At one time she was superior at St. Andrew’s school, Portland, OR, and after served as superior at St. John’s, Bellefonte, PA.

Sister M. Petronilla was a scholar of music, as well as in everything she undertook. She had a host of friends throughout the valley and the west who will mourn her death. Her last duty was a teacher of music at Saint Mary’s school, Avoca.

Sister M. Petronilla was a native of Scranton, and before entering the convent, was Miss Mary Gehen, daughter of the late Judge Mathias and Emily Gehen. She is survived by the following sisters and brothers: Mrs. Valentine Malburg, Mrs. E. M. Haller of this city; M. M. Gehen, and N. H. Gehen of Little Meadows; Mrs. Burton Wilder, of Chicago, IL; and Herbert Gehen, of Denver, CO.

The funeral will be held tomorrow morning at 9:30 o’clock at the Marywood college chapel.”

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