Dominican Sister of Peace Mary Lois Schmeltzer, (92), died on October 7, 2019, at the Mohun Hall Health Care Center in Columbus, OH. One of twelve children born to Mary Alice Gordon and Alphonsus Ligouri Schmeltzer in Somerset, OH, young Mary Schmeltzer was educated by Dominican Sisters and Friars from a young age and entered the Congregation herself in 1944.
Sister Mary Lois earned her BS in Elementary Education in 1957 from Saint Mary of the Springs College and her MEd from Duquesne University in 1962. She also earned certification in Administration and Supervision from Ohio State University. She served as an educator and principal for more than 30 years, teaching children in grades 1-8 in Connecticut, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, instructing children in choir and music, and also served as School Principal.
One of Sr. Mary Lois’ Sisters has commented that “She was a woman of great enthusiasm, and did everything that she did with 100% effort.” That was never truer than when she was asked to take on a new assignment for the good of the Church or her Community. After three decades as an educator, she left her ministry to serve the Congregation as Vocation Director and, later, as Director of Public Relations and Development.
She served as Director of Religious Education at St. Mary Parish in Marietta, OH, for nearly 10 years, then became the Administrator of Nazareth Towers, a HUD-subsidized senior citizen housing complex in Columbus, OH, where she served for eight years. She entered her final ministry of prayer and presence at Mohun Health Care Center in 2013.
When asked, “What ministry has been your favorite?” Sr. Lois always had the same answer: “I am doing my favorite ministry now, just where I am.” As she grew older and serving others became more difficult, she spoke often of how grateful she was for the care that she received from the staff at Mohun, saying how she appreciated being “a member of two wonderful families: a loving biological family and an outstanding religious congregation.”
Sr. Mary Lois’ was preceded in death by her parents, Alphonsus and Mary Alice Gordon Schmeltzer, her sisters, Madeline Takacs, Juanita Cline, Rita Keller, Betty Heyman, Audrey Hicks, and Nancy Palmer, and her brothers, William, Michael, and Edmund. She is survived by her sisters, Eloise Krumlauf, and Frances Orr.
A Vigil of Remembrance Service and Wake was held at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse Chapel, Columbus, Ohio on October 15, 2019. The funeral liturgy was held at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Motherhouse Chapel, October 16. Sr. Mary Lois was interred at St. Joseph Cemetery in Columbus, OH.
Memorial gifts in Sr. Mary Lois’ memory may be sent to Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr., Columbus, OH 43219-2098, or made online at oppeace.org.
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