Kasper-Hahn Funeral & Cremation Services Inc.
547 8TH ST.
Ambridge, PA 15003
(724) 266-2549
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Sister Mary Damian Thaner lived all of her 98 years, active and fully engaged in Benedictine life until the very minute of her death, which occurred while she was waiting in chapel for Vespers to begin during Benedictine Community Days. She was in the 76th year of her Religious Profession and was the first Sister to die at the new Benedictine Monastery in Bakerstown, PA. Born January 27, 1915, the third of Charles and Anna Krapp Thaner's ten children, Gertrude Barbara Thaner grew up in Pittsburgh, PA. She first came to join the Benedictine Sisters of Pittsburgh in 1930, left for a time, then returned in 1935 to totally devote the rest of her life to serving God in religious life. She made her First Profession on July 11, 1937 and her Final Profession on July 11, 1940. Sister Mary Damian spent 50 of her years ministering in education, in the Pittsburgh, Greensburg and Altoona-Johnstown Dioceses, serving as teacher, principal, educational supervisor. Her students benefitted and learned with her no-nonsense approach to teaching. In the years following her 1985 retirement from teaching, she ministered at Saint Benedict Monastery doing outdoor work, baking, driving Sisters to doctor appointments and serving as reader at liturgies. From 1995-2000, she was an active member of AARP, serving as secretary and legislative representative. Known as a strong, resolute woman of purpose and conviction, in her later years, Sister Mary Damian mellowed, and her sternness seemed to melt away, to be replaced with an openness and acceptance of changes. She deepened into a welcoming woman, who held out open arms to people and new ideas. She thrived with LIFE Pittsburgh, enjoying the activities, leading Bible studies, and always coming home to enthusiastically share stories of the day's activities. She never stopped learning, she never stopped growing in mind or spirit. She loved her Benedictine life, her Benedictine community and her family. She was a dignified, steadfast woman of strong faith who witnessed to others her great love of God as it grew even deeper in her every day. Sister Mary Damian is survived by three sisters, Mary Ann Linhart, Marcella Tegethoff and Mercedes Rafferty; as well as many nieces and nephews. Viewing will be held at Saint Benedict Monastery, 3526 Bakerstown Road, Bakerstown, PA Monday, 3:00 - 7:00 followed by a Wake Service. Tuesday: Viewing 1:30 - 4:30. Mass of Christian Burial will be Tuesday 5:00 p.m. at Saint Benedict Monastery. Arrangements by KASPER-HAHN FUNERAL AND CREMATION SERVICES, INC., 724-266-2549.
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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Aug. 5 to Aug. 6, 2013
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