Sister Marian Piskurich, former teacher at St. Joseph in Hartsville, dies at 89

marian-webCOLUMBIA, Pennsylvania—Sister Marian Piskurich, an Adorer of the Blood of Christ, died on April 3 at St. Anne’s Retirement Community. She was 89.

The Mass of Christian Burial was held April 9, with burial in the convent cemetery.

Sister Marian was born Helen Marie Piskurich on Oct. 28, 1925, in Johnstown, Pa., and was the 11th child in her blended family. Her parents, Stephen Piskurich and Anna Pavicic, married after each lost their first spouse. They were members of St. Rochus Croatian Church.

Helen Marie entered the Adorers of the Blood of Christ on Jan. 31, 1955, at St. Joseph Convent in Columbia and became a novice on Aug. 12, 1955, receiving the name Marian. She professed first vows on Aug. 12, 1956, and final vows on Aug. 15, 1961.

She graduated from Johnstown Secondary School in 1945 and earned additional high school credits at St. Joseph Academy, while concurrently studying at the Precious Blood Teacher Training Institute there. She earned a bachelor’s degree in art education at Youngstown State University in Ohio, and a master’s degree in art education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Sister Marian taught for 35 years. She taught elementary school at St. Teresa in Albany, Georgia; Assumption and St. Jerome in Chicago; St. Joseph in Hartsville, South Carolina; St. Francis in Lumberton, North Carolina; Most Precious Blood in Rochester, New York; Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Niles, Ohio; and St John the Evangelist (Enhaut) in Pennsylvania. She also taught art and English in various high schools, including Lancaster Catholic in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Ryken, Leonardtown in Maryland.; Holy Name in Reading, Pennsylvania; and St. Joseph Academy in Columbia.

In 1992, Sister Marian retired from teaching and served as chauffeur at St. Anne’s Retirement Community. She fully retired in 1998 to St. Joseph Convent and dedicated her time to prayer, art, and more. She moved to St. Anne’s Retirement Community, Annunciata Hall, in 2008, where she remained until 2012. She lived in the skilled care unit of St. Anne’s until her death.

Two portraits Sister Marian painted, one of Maria De Mattias and another of the Sisters in Niles, Ohio, walking to church in the pre-dawn, held prominent places at St. Joseph Convent. When Marian Hall was dedicated in 1965 as the new dormitory for boarding students at the Adorers’ St. Joseph Academy, Sister Marian created the Stations of the Cross for the chapel. Today, they grace the chapel at De Mattias Residence, the Columbia Center.

She loved to sing and dance, and even in her retirement years at St. Anne’s, she would dance any time she had the chance and add her strong voice to many a song fest.

Sister Marian had a free spirit and delighted in making people laugh. Often, in her later years, she was seen wearing floppy hats that brought smiles to all who met her. A sister recalled that she was always smiling, right up to the day she died.

Sister Marian was preceded in death by her parents and siblings. She is survived by many nephews and nieces, and her Adorer community.