In Memoriam: Sister Mary Helen Chasar, SND 1920–2017

In Memoriam: Sister Mary Helen Chasar, SND 1920–2017

Our dear Sister Mary Helen, 96, (formerly Sister Mary Leanette) went home to God very peacefully on Tuesday, May 16, at 10:02 p.m. Sister ministered for sixty-seven years in elementary schools as teacher, principal, catechist, tutor or aide. The privilege of proclaiming God’s goodness and love to little ones was the joy and hallmark of her life!

The wake for Sister Mary Helen will be on Monday, May 22, from 2–4 and 7–9 with the prayer service at 7:00, and on Tuesday from 9–10:15. The Mass of Christian Burial will be on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. with the burial following.  You can watch the wake and funeral services by clicking here

May she rejoice in the presence of our good and loving God for all eternity.

Link to Funeral Mass Video for Sr. Helen Chasar

Read a short bio one Sister Mary Helen Chasar.

Share Your Condolences and Remembrances

  1. Eric Paul Haubert - May 19, 2017

    I knew Sister Leanette when I was doing my best academically, getting straight-A’s and really at the top of the class. (4th grade especially, but also 3rd and 5th).

    It was a pure coincidence how I found this obituary. (If you can believe that). There was an odd story popping up on Facebook about a business in California which calls itself “Sisters of the Valley.”

    As a reply to that story, I was writing a message to someone about my experiences at St. Mary’s in Massillon. While doing some checking, I remembered that we were told the SND were based in Chardon. So I went to Google and looked for Notre Dame Chardon. The very first thing they showed was Sister Mary (Leanette).

    I remembered that she explained to us there was already a Sister “Leonette,” so they let her use the name by changing one letter.

    I’m an atheist, but as they say, “God works in mysterious ways.”

    I guess she was lucky she didn’t have to see how I turned out, since she had such high hopes for me. However, I did get several letters printed in local newspapers, which she may have seen. At least I learned something in an academic sense, if not in other ways.

    Sister Leanette was one of my teachers at St. Mary’s in the 3rd grade, and my main teacher in the 4th grade. When I moved to 5th grade, she became the principal of the school. She held that position for one year, before relocating to another school.

    My principals at St. Mary’s were: Sister Mary Ramon (1st grade), Sister Mary Robert (2nd to 4th), Sister Mary Leanette (5th), and Sister Mary Karen (6th to 8th). My teachers included Sister Mary Edana, Sister Mary Janelle, Sister Mary Leanette, Sister Mary Louann, Sister Mary James, and Sister Mary Saint James. (I can’t guarantee spelling on all of those).

    Sister Leanette was instrumental in building and stocking up a library for students at St. Mary’s in Massillon. I was able to read several books from that library, including many of the “Hardy Boys” stories, and later a biography of Albert Einstein and a book on Relativity. (Mr. George Starr in the 7th grade showed us a film about Einstein, which got me interested in Relativity).

    Sister Leanette also promoted a kind of school annual yearbook. Unfortunately, I did not get the book, so I don’t have a picture of what she looked like then. (It seemed like a lot of money at the time).

    In the following years, for 6th 7th and 8th, we had class pictures which used individual photos of each student, plus the teacher (sometimes). I was able to get all three of these. The style of class picture was probably influenced by her yearbook project, because previously we only had the old-style group pictures. (Again, I don’t have 3rd or 4th grade. I have a kindergarten picture from Whittier, a 1st grade from St. Mary’s, and a First Communion picture of about a hundred kids at once from 2nd grade).

    In any case, Sister Leanette was a guiding force for good, both for the school and in my own life personally.

  2. S. Connie & S. Laurine, RSM - May 27, 2017

    A beautiful lady who enhanced our lives by being a companion on the journey at Incarnation School in Sarasota. We loved her so.

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