Birth: Jun. 3, 1911
Profession: Feb. 8, 1939
Death: Nov. 26, 2008
November 29, 2008 – Mary Ranney, RSCJ, beloved educator and alumnae consultant in the New York Archdiocese, passed away November 26, 2008 at Teresian House in Albany, New York.
Sister Ranney joined the Religious of the Sacred Heart in 1939 at Kenwood in Albany and made her final profession in 1939 at Villa Lante in Rome.
She was born in Weedsport, New York, in 1911; her parents, both deceased, were Carl H. Ranney and Elizabeth Sullivan Ranney. Sister Ranney is survived by her brother, Louis R. Ranney, of Rochester, New York.
Sr. Ranney (known to many alumnae as Mother Ranney) served for more than 50 years at 91st Street as a caring and inspiring mentor, leader, and teacher – first as Head of the Lower School, then as Superior of the 91st Street community. In 1969, she was named Superior of the Manhattanville College community – a role she held for the next fifteen years. In 1983, Sr. Ranney returned to 91st Street as a religious consultant to the Alumnae and Development Offices, a member of the Board of Trustees and an associate on the Alumnae Board. She planned reunion events, gathered class notes for LesAmies, assisted in fundraising and contributed in countless other ways as an invaluable member of the 91st Street community until her retirement in 2002.
The Sacred Heart community will be forever grateful to Sr. Ranney for inspiring us all as a living example of Janet Erskine Stuart’s words: “To be a joy-bearer and a joy-giver says everything; it means that one is faithfully living for God and that nothing else counts, and if one gives joy to others we are doing God’s work. With joy without and within, all is well.” Sr. Ranney identified with the Sacred Heart way of giving love, care and interest to every single child. It was that focus that made her an exceptional leader of the Lower School and a remarkable asset to the Alumnae Office, where she used her many gifts to strengthen the connection and support of our 91st Street alumnae.
In the words of our beloved former Headmistress, the late Sr. Nancy Salisbury: “For Mary, each day is a gift from God and a new opportunity to bring happiness into the world. Thank you, Mary, for your gifts of love, faith, compassion and above all your contagious joy. The gifts you received you have given to all of us.” The earthly presence of 91st Street’s “angel of peace” will be sorely missed, but her warm and generous spirit will always be felt here at the school.
Her body is being donated to the State University of New York and memorial arrangements are pending.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Society of the Sacred Heart, 4100 Forest Park Avenue, Suite A, St. Louis, MO 63108.