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Sister Mary Joelle Smaczniak, 87, a Felician nun for 69 years, died Wednesday (Sept. 8, 1999) in Villa Maria Infirmary after a short illness.

The former Jane Smaczniak entered the Buffalo Province of the Felician Sisters from St. Barbara Parish in Lackawanna on June 24, 1930. She professed her final vows Aug. 25, 1938.

Sister Mary Joelle was a graduate of Immaculate Heart of Mary Academy and received a bachelor of science in education and a master of science in English from the former Mount St. Joseph Teachers College, now Medaille College.

She spent 53 years as a classroom teacher in various Catholic elementary schools. She spent 32 years as a teacher in the Diocese of Buffalo, 20 years in the Diocese of Syracuse and one year in the Diocese of Erie. She also served as a principal while teaching at Queen of Martyrs School and Resurrection School in Cheektowaga and St. Hedwig School in Dunkirk.

In 1993, Sister Mary Joelle moved to the Provincial House, where she assisted in supportive services. In 1994, she began to serve as as a part-time aide in the library at Villa Maria Academy. She moved to St. Francis Residence Convent in August 1996 and remained there until June.

Sister Mary Joelle underwent surgery in July and remained in Villa Maria Infirmary until her death.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9 a.m. Friday in Villa Maria Convent Chapel, 600 Doat St. Burial will be in St. Stanislaus Cemetery, Cheektowaga.


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