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Sister Mary Dennis, teacher, administrator and caregiver

Jan. 12, 1923 – March 22, 2017

Sister Mary Dennis, a teacher, administrator and caregiver for children and seniors, died March 22 in the Blessed Mary Angela Care Center, Cheektowaga, after a lengthy illness. She was 94.

A Felician Sister for more than 75 years, the former Helen Buziak was born in Buffalo and was a graduate of Immaculate Heart of Mary Academy.

She entered the Immaculate Heart of Mary Province of the Felician Sisters in July 1941 and professed her final vows on Aug. 6, 1949.

She earned certification in child care from the Institute of Child Care School of Social Service at St. Louis University.

Sister Dennis taught elementary students in Catholic schools in the Diocese of Buffalo for seven years.

She also assisted in child care duties in Getzville, at St. Rita’s Home for Children.

In 1956, she was assigned to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Home for Children in Cheektowaga, where for a decade she provided care for girls.

After two years teaching outside the area, she returned to the home as administrator, serving for six years.

She became an aide in 1974 at Villa Maria Infirmary, now Blessed Mary Angela Convent, assisting sisters who were aged and infirm.

Two years later, she was elected vicar of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Province, a post she held until 1982.

When her term ended, she returned to the infirmary as local leader of the sisters and left again in 1989 when she was elected provincial councilor. She returned as local leader in 1995, served another six years, then became a staff member.

Sister Dennis began working in funeral ministry in 2001 and became sacristan in 2004. She continued in the sacristy after becoming a patient in Blessed Mary Angela Care Center in 2011.

Survivors include a sister, Ann Buziak, a nephew and nieces.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered at March 25 in Immaculate Heart of Mary Convent Chapel, Cheektowaga.

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