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Friends recall good works of Sister Jerome

Sister Jerome Corcoran

CANFIELD — For most of her life, Sister Jerome Corcoran looked out for others by helping families in need and working with children on their educational journey.

The Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown announced the death of Sister Jerome on Sunday at the Ursuline Motherhouse in Canfield. She was 105.

Sister Mary McCormick, general superior for the Ursuine Sisters of Youngstown, said the sisters have been surrounding her with prayer for the past two weeks since she fell and broke her hip.

“We trust she is now rejoicing with all the Holy Ones and her loving God,” a statement says on the Ursuline Sisters website.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

McCormick said Sister Jeroome has been with the Ursuline community for more than 85 years.

“There are many people who do not live to 85. For her to do all she did in her life is remarkable. She was really a wonderful person who helped others. She was blessed with good health for most of her life,” she said.

McCormick said Sister Jerome was very well known in the Youngstown area, most notably as an educator and advocate for the poor.

She began as a teacher at Catholic elementary schools in Youngstown and then in the 1940s began teaching at Ursuline High School. She was instrumental in helping to set up offices at the Diocese of Youngstown and worked for them for 15 years.

For 36 years she directed the Mill Creek Children’s Center, a preschool for children of lower-income working parents in Youngstown.

“What she is most known for is starting a preschool for children of the working poor and families in need in the city in 1975. She was the founder and director until her retirement in 2012,” McCormick said.

In addition, Corcoran was also instrumental in starting the Youngstown Community School next to the preschool.

“She was very active throughout her life. Even after her retirement in 2012, she continued to be active in helping poor families and those in need. She always was concerned for the well-being of the children,” McCormick said.

“Her passing will be heartbreaking for the many people who knew her,” she said.

Monsignor John Zuraw, chancellor for the Diocese of Youngstown and pastor at St. Rose Church in Girard, said Sister Jerome allowed others to be generous and giving because she was so generous and giving herself.

“I truly believe the city of Youngstown and our neighboring communities have lost a great woman. She was vey generous and because of that, many others were generous, too. I know there were many who would open their wallet, purse or checkbook to help her help others,” Zuraw said.

He said Sister Jerome did much during her 105 years and dedicated her life to the people of the Mahoning Valley..

“She showed that age did not matter when helping others, Whether you are 16 or 105, she showed through what she did in her life was a blessing that benefited so many,” Zuraw said.

He said he knew Sister Jerome during all his years with the Diocese of Youngstown.

Sister Jerome will be remembered for her community engagement and leadership. Throughout her years, she founded several educational organizations in the area.

She started a reading program for children and later opened her own nonprofit program called Sister Jerome’s Poor Program.

In 2016, Sister Jerome was inducted into the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame in Columbus.

bcoupland@tribtoday.com

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