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Sister Eleanor Thielman, OSF 1932–2022


Sister Eleanor Thielman, OSF, who ministered in education, pastoral ministry and community service passed away on Nov. 26, 2022 at Autumn View Health Care Facility.  She was 90 years old.

Sister Eleanor was born Mary Lucille on Oct. 21, 1932, in the Lovejoy neighborhood of Buffalo to Anthony and Eleanor (Ernst) Thielman. Sister Eleanor was one of nine children.  She graduated from St. Agnes School and Bishop Colton High School. After entering the Sisters of St. Francis in Williamsville in 1953, she earned a bachelor of science degree in Education, and then spent many years teaching primary grades in Catholic schools throughout the Buffalo region. Some of the schools where she taught included Infant of Prague, Cheektowaga; St. Aloysius, Springville; St. Mary, Lancaster; St. Gerard and Holy Name in Buffalo. She also served as a librarian at Our Lady Help of Christians and a volunteer at Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry. Her love of the Bible led her to Joseph House, an adult education center near St. Joseph Cathedral. There she taught Bible study for a number of years and volunteered in the area of hospitality.

She continued to serve others through her ministry of prayer and knitting and crocheting items for the poor.

In her high school days, she belonged to the East Lovejoy Drum Corps that traveled extensively and participated in many competitions. Her love of music has been part of her life and classical music always filled her room.

Reflecting on her life, Sister Eleanor said, “My life as a Franciscan has been one of fulfillment and gratitude for the gifts of my religious vocation.”

Sister Eleanor is survived by her sisters, Eleanor Peinkofer, Marguerite Hastrieter, Virginia Figura, Martha McCarthy and her brother, Peter.  She is predeceased by her sister, Barbara Wisniewski and her brothers Paul and Phillip.

A funeral Mass will be offered at SS. Peter & Paul Church, 5480 Main St., Williamsville, on Dec. 5, at 9:30 a.m. Burial will follow at Gethsemane Cemetery in Williamsville.


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