In Memory

Sister Margaret Clarke, IHM

April 29, 1921 – October 31, 2013

Sister Margaret Clarke, IHM, (formerly known as Sister M. Emelia) of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary died on Thursday, October 31, 2013, at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, PA.

She was born on April 29, 1921, in Providence, RI. She was the daughter of the late William and Honor Duffy Clarke. She entered the IHM Congregation on September 8, 1939, made her temporary profession of vows on May 8, 1942, and her final profession of vows on August 2, 1945.

Sister Margaret served as a teacher at the following schools: St. Patrick Elementary School in Oneida, NY, from 1942 to 1947; St. Agnes Elementary School in Washington, NC, from 1947 to 1948; St. Michael Elementary School in Hoban Heights, PA, from 1948 to 1949; St. Dominic Elementary School in Oyster Bay, NY, from 1949 to 1952; Holy Angels Elementary School in Pittsburgh, PA, from 1952 to 1957; St. Bernard Elementary School in Hastings, PA, from 1957 to 1958; St. Mary of the Mount Elementary School in Pittsburgh, PA, from 1958 to 1963; Our Lady of Peace Elementary School in Clarks Green, PA, from 1963 to 1969; St. Paul Elementary School in Cranston, RI, from 1969 to 1978; St. Thomas Elementary School in Providence, RI, from 1978 to 1980; St. Ambrose Elementary School in Bridgeport, CT, from 1980 to 1986; and St. Raymond Elementary School in East Rockaway, NY, from 1986 to 2008, where she also served as librarian.

From 2008 until the time of her death, Sister Margaret was a prayer minister at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in education, and a Master of Science degree in library science, both from Marywood College.

She was preceded in death by a brother, William V.

She is survived by a brother, Reverend Peter, and a sister, Anne, both of North Augusta, SC, and nephews.

The funeral will be Monday, November 4, 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 Sunday, November 3, 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 Monday 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, Spring 2014 issue

When asked to share some memories of Sister Margaret, I thought back to the very first time that I met her. Of course, at that point, she was Sister Emelia and I was a sixth grader at St. Mary of the Mount School in Pittsburgh. Through my eyes she was just one of several happy young sisters living together. Little did I think then that years later we would spend some 22 years as sisters together!

Sister Margaret and I moved to East Rockaway in 1986 and worked together until her retirement from school in 2008. During her time at St. Raymond’s, Margaret taught third grade before serving as the librarian and working with all of our children whom she affectionately referred to as “tiddlywinks” (usually meaning that she couldn’t quickly remember their names!). I learned much about and from Margaret during those years. Being from the “old school”, she was quite a disciplinarian both with the children and herself! However, even then she would display great compassion. Often, crying children would be found enveloped in her embrace. I often wondered how many of them saw the tears in her eyes too.

Sister Margaret was a very private person keeping many things quietly in her heart. She loved the Congregation, her family, and sports! Oh my, the things that she taught me about being prayerful, faithful, a loyal friend, a dedicated professional, and a hard worker! How flexible she was in warmly welcoming my mother to stay with us – and to accept not one but two dogs! There was quite a change in the quiet convent life we were used to, but Margaret met it all with an open heart and big smile.

Now, I’m sure, that smile is everlasting as she shares in the joys of eternal life. Rest peacefully, my friend, and present before our God all the tiddlywinks you left on earth.

by Sister Ruthanne Gypalo, IHM

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