Joan Marie Cherasaro

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Sister Joan Marie Cherasaro, 62, a member of the Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy, Villa Rossello in Newfield, died Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011, at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville after a brief illness.

Sister Cherasaro was born in Hazelton, Pa., daughter of the late Nicholas and Helen Fatula Cherasaro. Having entered the congregation of the Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy in Newfield in 1966, she professed her vows on Aug. 15, 1969. She received her bachelor of arts in elementary education at Glassboro State College and a bachelor of arts in music education/liturgy from Immaculata College in Pennsylvania.

Totally dedicated to her religious vocation, Sister Joan Marie's life was characterized by her spirit of persevering prayer and outstanding zeal as an educator, as well as in her present pastoral ministry to the elderly and shut-ins of Most Precious Blood Parish in Hazelton, Pa.

An excellent and committed educator, Sister Joan Marie taught at various schools in New Jersey, including Berkeley Heights, St. Mary's in East Vineland, St. Francis of Assisi in Vineland, St. Mary Magdalen in Millville and Our Lady of Mercy Academy in Newfield from 1985 to 2002, as a religion and music teacher. A multitalented person, Sister Joan Marie was an excellent singer and used her gift of song especially at liturgies. Her singing brought joy and comfort to many as she shared her talent.

Sister Joan Marie is survived by the members of her religious community; brothers, Nicholas Cherasaro of Troy, Mich. and Robert Cherasaro of Deltona, Fla.; sisters, Judi Monek of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and Donna Zampella of Piscataway. Also surviving are an aunt, Rita Yanovick of Piscataway and an extended family of cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

The Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated at 11 a.m. today by the Rev. Louis Grippe, pastor at Most Precious Blood Church in Hazelton, Pa., with a viewing from 9 a.m. before Mass at the church. The Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Villa Rossello Chapel in Newfield by Father Louis Grippe, followed by burial at Pieta Cemetery on the grounds of Villa Rossello. Friends may call from 7 to 9 p.m. today and from 9:30 a.m. until Mass on Tuesday, at the chapel.

Arrangements are under the direction of Fierro Funeral Home in Hazelton, Pa., and Rone Funeral Service in Vineland.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Daughters of Mercy, Villa Rossello, 1009 Main Road, Newfield, NJ 08344.

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Published in The Daily Journal from Jan. 22 to Jan. 24, 2011
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