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Sr. Mary Gemma Gutowski OLC

Sr. Mary Gemma Gutowski OLC died peacefully Nov. 19, 2013, at the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity convent in Carrollton.

Born Jan. 17, 1920, in Pittsburgh, PA, she was a daughter of Peter and Bernice (Kalinowski) Gutowski. She was preceded in death by four brothers and six sisters. She entered Sisters of Our Lady of Charity in 1941 in Erie and professed final vows in 1947.

She earned a bachelor's degree from Mt. St. Joseph Teachers College, Buffalo, NY, in 1950, and furthered her education by earning graduate credits in guidance, counseling, and religious education from Catholic University of America, Washington D.C. in 1951 and 1952. Upon completion of her studies, she returned to Erie and assumed full time duties in her ministry at Gannondale.

Sister served the Erie Diocese at Gannondale as intake worker, acting superintendent, assistant cottage mother in the residential program, secretary/supervisor, administrative assistant in the social work department, coordinator of ECIA Chapter 1 Educational Program, special education instructor, remedial reading supervisor and instructor, and teacher of Christian Living, Christian Doctrine, art and seasonal dramatics. Sister Gemma was a great promoter of the mission of Gannondale. Renowned for her fundraising efforts, she was a consistent top ticket seller to the Erie Golf Charity Classic and secured many Chinese auctions items from local businesses. Sister retired from active participation in the various functions of Gannondale on Oct. 13, 2006, and was honored by Gannondale and the Board of Trustees at the following annual Christmas dinner for her 45 years of service.

She served the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity as assistant supervisor, directress of formation in Erie, delegate to several chapters of the North American Federation of OLC, secretary to superior, receptionist, and a council member of the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity in Erie.

Sister is survived by her sisters, the Sisters of Our Lady Charity, a brother, Ralph Gutowski of Pittsburg, and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial mass was celebrated Nov. 22 at the convent chapel in Carrollton. Calling hours for Sr. Gemma in Erie will be Nov. 24 from 5-8 p.m. in the Sister's Chapel at Gannondale. The Rite of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Monday with Fr. John Santor as celebrant. Interment will follow at Holy Trinity Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, her Sisters ask that memorials be made to Gannondale.