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Sister Loretta Young, SSJ 1931-2020

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Sister Loretta Young, a teacher and administrator at St. Mary’s School for the Deaf and an adjunct professor at Canisius College, died June 8, 2020, at the Sisters of St. Joseph Residence in Clarence after a long illness. She was 89.

Born in Buffalo May 9, 1931, to Robert and Ethel (Griffith) Young. Sister Loretta and her identical twin, Sister Virginia, entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in September 1948 and pronounced final vows in August 1954.

After completing a bachelor of science in education at Mount St. Joseph Teachers College, (now Medaille), in 1959, Sister earned advanced degrees from Northwestern University, Education and Guidance of the Deaf, and University of California, Northridge, Special Education Administration and Supervision.

Sister’s ministries at St. Mary’s (1950-1994) included elementary teacher, elementary supervisor, elementary supervising teacher and principal of the elementary department. The school established the Sister Loretta Young Elementary Academic Achievement Award at her retirement.

Timothy M. Kelly, superintendent of St. Mary’s, praised Sister Loretta as “Child first every step of her great journey. She represented the best of what the ‘Spirit of St. Mary’s’ and deaf education have to offer.”

She also taught multiple sign language and American Sign Language classes in Canisius College’s Modern Language Department and its graduate program in Deaf Education 1963-2013, to police and firefighters as well as to multiple elementary school students. Humor and anecdotes characterized her teaching. Sister served her congregation as a general councilor 1997-2007 and president 2007-09.

She is survived by her twin, Sister Virginia, and nieces and nephews.

A memorial Mass will be offered by the Sisters of St. Joseph in the future.

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