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Sister Joan Marie Benoit, RSM

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Sister Joan Marie Benoit, RSM, a teacher and missionary, died April 20, 2020 at Mercy Center, Buffalo. She was 84.

Born in Jamestown, to the late Lemier and Mary Elizabeth (McAvoy) Benoit, Sister Joan’s father worked at the local newspaper on the printing press, her mother was a teacher and homemaker.

After graduating from SS. Peter and Paul Catholic School, Joan continued with the Sisters of Mercy by attending Mt. Mercy Academy, Buffalo. Two Buffalo Public School teachers welcomed her into their home as a boarder. After graduating with honors, she entered the Sisters of Mercy Community September 1, 1953. While earning a bachelor’s degree in education from Medaille College (formerly Mt. St. Joseph Teachers College) Sister Joan taught at Holy Family School, Buffalo, St. Joseph, Albion, St. Bonaventure, West Seneca and other Catholic Schools in Buffalo, Niagara Falls and St. James in Jamestown. Sister Joan continued to earn post graduate credits in education from St. Bonaventure University, Niagara University and Trocaire College.

In 1969, Sister Joan joined the Mercy Mission in the Philippines. Her first year included attending the Language and Culture School in Ozamis, Philippines. Being accomplished in languages Sister Joan was assigned as administrator and faculty member of Mercy High School, Iligan City, Mindanao and later administrator and teacher at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School. Upon returning to the U.S., Sister Joan also returned to her school, SS Peter and Paul, Jamestown, as assistant principal and Junior High teacher from 1978 to 1985. She continued ministering in several other Catholic Schools in the diocese. As a member of the Middle States Accreditation Team she assisted in St. Teresa School, Buffalo, acquiring accreditation in 1995.

Sister Joan ministered in Saipan, Mariana Islands from 1995 to 2001 at Mt. Carmel School and was instrumental in that school receiving Western Pacific Accreditation.

The value of education and the love of God’s children was a driving force that kept Sister Joan in the class room for more than 60 years which included teaching GED classes at the Warde Center, in Buffalo and providing instruction for students in the Learning Lab at Mount Mercy Academy.

Sister Joan’s ring motto is “Ecce Ancilla Domini” –“Behold the Handmaid of the Lord.” Sister lived her life being of service to all those she encountered. Joy for adventure enriched her life and the lives of those she taught.

Sister Joan is survived by brother Richard (Joanne) Benoit, niece Karry Camp and nephew Toby Benoit. She is sister to late Catherine (Gerald) Corkery.

A memorial service to be held at a later date. Burial at Holy Cross Cemetery, Lackawanna. Memorials may be made to the Sisters of Mercy, 625 Abbott Road, Buffalo, NY 14220. Arrangements entrusted to the Reddington Funeral Home.

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