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SISTER GERTRUDE (SISTER MARIE BENEDICT) MELISSA

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MELISSA SISTER GERTRUDE (SISTER MARIE BENEDICT)

A Pittsburgh Sister of Mercy for 70 years, died at the Convent of Mercy on August 9, 2018. Born in Iselin, PA, she was 90 years old. Daughter of Charles and Elsie (Telban) Melissa, Sister Gertrude entered the Sisters of Mercy from Holy Cross Parish, in Iselin, PA in 1948 and made final vows in 1953. Sister Gertrude earned a Bachelor's degree in Education from Mount Mercy College (now Carlow University) and taught at various elementary schools in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. She learned Spanish and taught at Academia Católica, and La Merced Schools in Puerto Rico. She was principal at Holy Family School in Latrobe, PA and at St. Thomas the Apostle School in Miami, FL. In the 1970s, Sister Gertrude earned a Master's degree in social work from Adelphia University and began a career at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh as a caseworker across many departments and clinics. Additionally, she served on the pastoral team for workshops on "Death and Dying" sponsored by the Diocese of Pittsburgh. In the 1990s, she offered support services to the Sisters living in the Convent of Mercy infirmary, and volunteered in the Archives Department of Carlow College. Most recently, she participated in the ministry of prayer. Sister Gertrude Melissa brought wise, sensitive, whole-hearted service to her ministries, keen listening beyond the words, and a wry sense of humor. Preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Shirley; and brothers, Robert and Charles Melissa. Sister Gertrude is survived by two nieces. Friends will be received at the Convent of Mercy, 3333 Fifth Avenue, Sunday, August 12, 2018, from 2-8 p.m. with storytelling at 7 p.m. Funeral Mass will be celebrated Monday, August 13, 2018, at 11 a.m. in the Chapel at the Convent of Mercy, followed by interment in St. Xavier Cemetery, Latrobe. Arrangements entrusted to the EDWARD P. KANAI FUNERAL HOME, 500 Greenfield Avenue. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sisters of Mercy, 3333 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213 or the Carlow University Scholarship Fund.

Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Aug. 11 to Aug. 12, 2018
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