In Memory

Sister M. Sarita Gesler, IHM

November 25, 1920 – October 1, 2012

Sarita Gesler, IHM

Sister M. Sarita Gesler, IHM, of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Monday, October 1, 2012, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA.

She was born on November 25, 1920, in Johnson City, NY, and given the name Agnes Rita. She was the daughter of the late George and Sarah Irene Peters Gesler. She entered the IHM Congregation on February 2, 1941, made temporary profession of her vows on August 2, 1943, and final profession of her vows on August 2, 1946.

Sister Sarita served as a teacher at the following schools: St. Rita Elementary School in Baltimore, MD, from 1943 to 1954; St. Henry Elementary School in Gresham, OR, from 1954 to 1961; Holy Rosary Elementary School in Scranton, PA, from 1972 to 1976; St. Mary Elementary School in Avoca, PA, from 1976 to 1979; St. Patrick Elementary School in Oneida, NY, from 1979 to 1981; St. John the Evangelist Elementary School in Clinton, MD, from 1981 to 1990; and St. Peter of Alcantara Elementary School in Port Washington, NY, from 1990 to 1998. She was an instructor at the Educational Enrichment Institute, IHM Center in Scranton, PA, from 1999 to 2001.

Sister served as principal at the following schools: St. Mary Elementary School in Pittston, PA, from 1961 to 1963; St. Bernadette Elementary School in Goldsboro, NC, from 1963 to 1966; St. Agnes Elementary School in Baltimore, MD, from 1966 to 1969; and at St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Elementary School in Dunmore, PA, from 1969 to 1972.

From 2001 until the time of her death, Sister Sarita served as a prayer minister at the Marian Convent and Our Lady of Peace Residence, both in Scranton.

She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Marywood College, and a Master of Arts degree in education from Duquesne University.

She was preceded in death by two brothers, John and George William, and two sisters, Mary and Ann.

She is survived by a nephew, Steve Gesler of Kalispell, MT.

The funeral will be Friday, October 5, 2012, 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 Thursday, October 4, between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. A prayer service will be held at 4:00 p.m. Interment will follow Mass on Friday 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 2012 issue

Sister Sarita was a faithful and true friend for the last 70 years. She was a senior novice when I was a postulant. From then on we
both journeyed in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, she in Goldsboro and I in Rocky Mount. Later we were stationed in Baltimore and
Bethesda, Maryland.

While working on our kindergarten courses during summer school at St. John’s University, the daily subway ride from Forest Hills, NY, was quite an experience. We had many laughs and stories to tell when we arrived home each day.

Spiritually we prayed for each other, exchanged good spiritual reading books, and enjoyed our retreats either at Marywood or at St. Alphonsus Retreat House during the summer.

For many summers Sarita, Jeanne Gallagher, and I spent our vacation with my brother and his wife in Tarpon Springs, FL.

During the last eleven years when Sarita was confined to the Marian Convent and Our Lady of Peace Residence, I took every opportunity I could to visit her.

Kelly, one of the nurses at OLP would announce my arrival,“Guess who is here to see you?” Sometimes she would say “St. William” and other times she would ask, “Who are you?” As soon as she would hear my voice, she would smile.

We had many happy memories to share and yes, I will miss her, but I know she will not forget me. May she rest in peace.

by M. St. William Lynch, IHM

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