Sister Mary Herman Marhafer, CSJ, 91, died Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 72 years, and she had taught for many years in schools in the Syracuse Diocese.
Sister Mary Herman, the former Leatrice Marie Marhafer, was born in Schenectady, on April 20, 1926, daughter of the late Herman and Marie Alice Hebert Marhafer. After graduating from St. Columba’s School in Schenectady, she entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Troy, on March 19, 1945, and professed final vows on Aug. 15, 1950. Sister Mary Herman completed her undergraduate studies in elementary education from The College of Saint Rose and her graduate studies in education from SUNY at Oneonta. For 35 years, Sister Mary Herman worked in the field of education, both on the elementary level and in catechetics. For 22 years, she worked as a driver and a receptionist at St. Joseph’s Provincial House.
Sister Mary Herman found great joy and happiness in serving others: the children in school and religious education; the sisters whom she was taking to the doctor; the guests at the Provincial House; even her own family members; her life of service was a reflection of Sister Mary Herman’s deep, abiding faith in God. She enjoyed all kinds of needlepoint and was a fine seamstress, sewing not only for herself but most often for other sisters and friends.
Sister Mary Herman delighted in long walks where she could admire the beauty of nature, and she relished finding just the right greeting cards for every occasion imaginable. Her last years of failing eyesight prevented Sister Mary Herman from continuing most of the activities that brought her pleasure, but she graciously accepted this phase of her life and was grateful to anyone who helped her, even in the smallest way. In her own quiet manner, Sister Mary Herman was a model of strength, courage, patience, and perseverance, a remarkable legacy, indeed.
Sister Mary Herman is survived by her sister-in-law, Wilma Marhafer; her brother-in-law, Michael G. Pintavalle; several nieces and nephews and their families; many cousins; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, with special mention of her beloved friend, Sister Toni Ann Murphy. Sister Mary Herman was predeceased by her sister, Yvonne Pintavalle; and her brothers, Charles Marhafer and Rev. Maury Marhafer, OFM.
Arrangements were by The Wm. Leahy Funeral home, 336 Third Street, Troy. Sister Mary Herman’s Mass of Christian Burial was held Oct. 31 in the chapel of St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. Contributions in Sister Mary Herman’s memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, N.Y. 12110.