Sister Joan Marie Cherasaro, former teacher, dies

Sister Joan Marie Cherasaro, a member of the Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy, Villa Rossello, Newfield, died on Jan. 20 at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, after a brief illness. She was 62.

Sister Cherasaro was born in Hazelton, Pa., daughter of the late Nicholas and Helen Fatula Cherasaro. Having entered the Congregation of the Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy, in Newfield in 1966 she professed her vows on Aug. 15, 1969. She received her B.A. in elementary education at Glassboro State College and a B.A. in music education/liturgy from Immaculata College, Pa.

Totally dedicated to her religious vocation, Sister Joan Marie’s life was characterized by her spirit of persevering prayer and outstanding zeal as an educator as well as in her most recent pastoral ministry to the elderly and shut-ins of Most Precious Blood Parish, Hazelton, Pa.

Sister Joan Marie taught various schools in New Jersey: Berkeley Heights, St. Mary’s in E. Vineland, St. Francis of Assisi, Vineland, St. Mary Magdalene, Millville, and at Our Lady of Mercy Academy, Newfield from 1985-2002 as a religion and music teacher.

Sister Joan Marie was an excellent singer and used her gift of song especially at liturgies. Her singing brought joy and comfort to many as she shared her talent.

Sister Joan Marie is survived by the members of her religious community; brothers Nicholas Cherasaro of Troy, Michigan and Robert Cherasaro of Deltona, Florida; and sisters, Judi Monek of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Donna Zampella of Piscataway, NJ. Also surviving are an aunt, Rita Yanovick of Piscataway, NJ and an extended family of cousins, nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews.

The Mass of Resurrection was celebrated by Rev. Louis Grippe, pastor at Most Precious Blood Church, Hazelton, PA on Monday, January 24 at 11 a.m.

The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Villa Rossello Chapel, Newfield, by Father Louis Grippe on Jan. 25 followed by burial at Pieta Cemetery on the grounds of Villa Rossello. Memorial contributions may be made to the Daughters of Mercy, Villa Rossello, 1009 Main, Road, Newfield, NJ 08344.

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