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Anastasia Valimont SSJ

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Anastasia Valimont SSJ Obituary

Anastasia Valimont, SSJ, age 93, of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania, died on August 31, 2014. Sr. Anastasia was born in Karthaus, Pennsylvania on December 3, 1920, the daughter of the late Herman and Nellie Fye Valimont.

She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from St. Peter and Paul Parish, Karthaus in 1939, and professed her final vows on August 15, 1945. She would have celebrated 75 years of religious life on September 24, 2014.

Sister Anastasia earned a nursing diploma from Saint Vincent School of Nursing in 1943, a BS in Nursing from Villa Maria College, Erie, in 1950, and a MS in Nursing from Catholic University, Washington, DC in 1956.

Sister Anastasia ministered as a nurse at Saint Vincent Hospital in Erie, and Spencer Hospital in Meadville. She taught at Edinboro University, and later became Director of the nursing school at Spencer Hospital, before serving as the hospital's Administrator. She was Director of Nursing at Saint Mary's Home, and later became it's Administrator and a pioneer in the realm of nursing home administration. She led Saint Mary's Home through a period of great growth and expansion. Among her many accomplishments at Saint Mary's were it's Alzheimer's facility; Adult Day Care; Total Continuum of Care, The Friends of Saint Mary's, and Saint Mary's at Asbury Ridge.

When asked about her greatest achievement, she said it was "to be able to maintain the stature of Saint Mary's, as one of the best nursing facilities in the country."

While ministering at St. Mary's Home, Sister Anastasia also oversaw the merger of Spencer Hospital with Meadville City Hospital, creating the Meadville Medical Center. She was influential in forming a Pro Life Organization in Meadville and Erie, and she served on Pennsylvania Governor Milton Shapp's Abortion Law Commission. She was a Member of Rotary International for more than 20 years, and was recipient of it's Paul Harris Award, in 2009. In her retirement, she continued to serve on the boards of Meadville Medical Center, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Board of Nursing Home Administrators, and Gannon University. She also acted as a consultant to the Administration and Board of Saint Mary's Home of Erie, and participated in the SSJ Prayer Card Ministry.

She was a woman of great compassion and love for the elderly, exemplified by the way she spent so much time visiting and talking with the residents of Saint Mary's Home. She desired to know their individual needs, and she did that by listening to them and, where possible, responding to their requests.

Sr. Phyllis McCracken, CEO/President of Saint Mary's Home and Sr. Anastasia's Godchild, spoke of her influence. "Sister Anastasia was an important mentor to those of us fortunate enough to be her students at Spencer, and to serve with her at Saint Mary's Home of Erie," she said. "Her leadership at Saint Mary's and in the Erie, as well as, the Commonwealth long term care communities, will long be remembered and treasured."

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a sister, Thelma Nashwinter, and her husband, Harold; a brother, Robert, and his wife, Mary Louise; and a brother-in-law, William Lidgett. She is survived by a sister, Tina Lidgett of Niagara Falls, N.Y. She is further survived by nieces, Denise Lidgett Wylucki (Russell), Donna Kellick (Richard), Jan Engel, Mary Kay Mueller, and Debby Nyes (John); and nephews Gregory Lidgett (Pat), Michael Valimont (Sue), and Robert Valimont, Jr. (Connie). Additional great-nieces, great-nephews and dear friends survive, as well. She is also survived by the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Friends may call at the Villa Maria Community Living Center, 5031 West Ridge Road, Erie, Tuesday from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., when a prayer service will be held. Calling hours continue on Wednesday from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 4:30 p.m. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Community Support Fund of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 5031 West Ridge Road, Erie, PA 16506-1249. The Francis V. Kloecker Funeral Home, Inc., is handling the arrangements.

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Published in the Erie Times-News from Sept. 1 to Sept. 2, 2014
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