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Sister Marion Zimmer, SSJ 1927-2022


Sister Marion Zimmer, a Sister of St. Joseph for 75 years, died Jan. 20, 2022, at the Sisters of St. Joseph Residence, Clarence. Formerly known as Sister Michael Therese, she was 94.

Born in Buffalo Mar. 2, 1927, to Michael and Teresa (Reiter) Zimmer, Sister entered the religious life in September 1945. She pronounced her final vows in August 1951. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education in 1951 and 1956 from Mount St. Joseph Teachers College (now Medaille).  

After several years teaching in elementary schools, Sister joined the faculty of Medaille College in the social sciences and education departments, where she served from 1955-1997 she was chair of Professional Education and also was her community’s director of education. In 1977, she received the first John Peter Medaille Award.

Always intensely devoted to social justice, Sister Marion co-founded the Center for Justice in 1978 and served as its director until 1982. She established the Buffalo Chapter of Bread for the World and participated in multiple civic groups. She was a strong supporter of interfaith ventures and a frequent speaker at events.

Along with 24 other members of Church Women United from across the United States, Sister participated in “A Christian Causeway,” a People for Peace Project that met with women from both the north and south of Ireland.

Sister ministered from 1983-97 at Our Mother of Sorrows Parish, Tucson, Arizona as social outreach coordinator and pastoral associate. Returning to Buffalo, she managed HOPE Hospitality House and also worked as assistant archivist and volunteer at the SSJ Sister Karen Klimczak Center for Nonviolence.

She moved to the Sisters Clarence Residence in 2012.

She is survived by her brother Frank.

A funeral Mass was celebrated at Our Lady of Peace Church, Clarence, Feb. 8. Burial is at the Sisters’ section of Forest Lawn Cemetery.