Written on: September 25, 2014
Sister Helen O’Hara, GNSH, 88, formerly Sister Rosemary, died at St. Joseph Manor, on September 20, 2014, in the 71st year of her religious life.
Her childhood years were spent in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada where she attended local schools. She entered the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart in 1944 following graduation from Holy Angels Academy. She was awarded the Bachelor of Science in Education from D’Youville College. Additional studies were pursued at St. Bonaventure University, Olean, NY and at the University of Athens in Georgia.
Her 28 years as an educator included teaching assignments in Jackson Heights and Potsdam, NY; Mahanoy City, PA and Atlanta, GA. More than half of her teaching experience was in the Archdiocese of Atlanta.
For 33 years she ministered in Buffalo, where she completed the Occupational Therapy Program at Erie Community College receiving an Associate in Applied Science degree. For thirteen years she worked with the Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant or as a Rehabilitation Specialist.
Semi-retiring in 1994, she began volunteer ministry in nursing homes as a part of the Holy Angels Parish outreach. Simultaneously, she served as a volunteer receptionist at Kevin Guest House. She was recognized by both organizations for her dedicated and loving service.
In 2011 she retired to the Motherhouse in Yardley, PA where she resided until moving to Holy Redeemer/ D’Youville Manor in 2013. Health issues necessitated a move to St. Joseph Manor in July 2014.
A lifelong love of dance was expressed in classes for students and campers in summer programs and in liturgical dancing. At festivities honoring her golden jubilee, she performed her own choreography. Bowing to reality earlier in 2014, she enjoyed her 70th Jubilee festivities from her front row seat in chapel.
Her surviving family includes Joan (Sue) O’Hara of Niagara Falls, NY and Peter O’Hara (Mary Patricia) of St. James, NY and 7 nieces and 3 nephews. She is predeceased by sisters Mary Margaret O’Hara, GNSH and Julie O’Hara Waggoner.
Services at the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart Motherhouse, Yardley PA:
Thursday, September 25: Prayer Service 7 p.m.,
Friday, September 26: Liturgy of Christian Burial, 10 a.m.
Donations in her memory will be greatly appreciated and may be made to the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart, 1750 Quarry Road, Yardley, PA.
Funeral arrangements directed by Beck-Givnish Funeral Home, Inc