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Sister Mary Helen Hope, 91, longtime educator

Dec. 18, 1921 – Sept. 24, 2013

Sister Mary Helen Hope, a longtime teacher, principal and volunteer, died Tuesday in the Sisters of St. Joseph Residence after a long illness. She was 91.

Born Teresea Hope in Palmyra, she entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in September 1940. She took her final vows in August 1946. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 1946 and a master’s degree in education (English) in 1958 from Mount St. Joseph Teachers College. In 1972, she received a master’s degree in education with a concentration in special education for the emotionally disturbed from the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater.

A teacher for 28 years, Sister Helen ministered in several diocesan elementary schools as well as at Our Lady of Victory High School and Mount St. Joseph Academy. She was principal at Good Shepherd School, Pendleton; Our Lady of the Lake, Dunkirk; and Our Mother of Good Counsel, Blasdell.

Using her tutoring and special-education skills, Sister Helen worked with students at Cheektowaga Central High School; Baker Hall, Lackawanna; Immaculate Conception School, East Aurora; Medaille College Learning Service Center; and Catholic Academy of West Buffalo. She subsequently offered her services with Literacy Volunteers of Buffalo, Sisters Hospital and as a Eucharistic minister at St. Luke’s Presbyterian Nursing Home. She retired in 2004.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 4 p.m. Friday in the Sisters of St. Joseph Residence, 4975 Strickler Road, Clarence.

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