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March 2, 1933 – Feb. 18, 2013

Sister Mary Felicia Szymanowski, a Franciscan nun who for 50 years ministered in the field of education, died Monday in the Colette Hilbert Care Community. She was 79.

Born Helen Szymanowski in Lynn, Mass., she became a postulant in the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph on Sept. 1, 1951, and professed her final vows on July 22, 1956. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Dominican College in Racine, Wis. Sister Mary Felicia also attended Canisius College, where she earned graduate credits.

Over a 50-year career, she ministered at Catholic schools in Holyoke, Mass.; Detroit; Kewanee, Ill.; Danbury, Conn.; and Auburn, N.Y.

Locally, Sister Mary Felicia taught at Mother of Divine Grace Catholic School in Cheektowaga and St. Mary of the Lake Catholic School in Hamburg, where she served as principal from 1973 to 1983.

She also organized the Math Center for a remedial summer math program for elementary school students at the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse in Hamburg.

In 2003, Sister Mary Felicia joined the Franciscan Sisters at their assisted-living community in Hamburg.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in the chapel of Immaculate Conception Convent, 5229 South Park Ave., Hamburg.