Sister Janice M. Heery, longtime educator at St. Rose of Lima, dies

Sister Janice M. Heery, OP
Sister Janice M. Heery, OP

Sister Janice M. Heery, (Sister Jean Michael), a Dominican Sister of Hope for 61 years and longtime educator at St. Rose of Lima School in Haddon Heights, died on July 14 at the age of 78.

Born in Woodbury, Sister Janice was in the first graduating class from St. Patrick School there. After her graduation from Gloucester Catholic High School, she entered the novitiate of the Dominican Sisters of Newburgh, N.Y., in September 1954.

She made her first profession in June 1956, and final profession in August 1959.

Sister Janice earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Mount St. Mary College in Newburgh. Her lifelong ministry was in education, and she guided elementary school students in New Jersey, Connecticut and North Carolina.

She taught at St. Rose of Lima in Haddon Heights, 1970-71, and again starting in 1990 until shortly before her death.

She was a teacher of English, science, math and religion at St. Rose, but her contributions went far beyond the classroom. She was a CCD principal, youth minister, student council moderator, initiator of Peer Mediation, Music Ministry leader, secretary for Sisters’ Council, and the school’s first cheerleading coach.

Her order, the Dominican Sisters of Hope, remembered her as “faith-filled, dependable, loyal and fair, but firm” and said that Sister Janice “has a place in the hearts of many for her kindness and unassuming way.”

Sister Janice is the daughter of the late John M. and Jessie (nee Downs) Heery, and is survived by her sister, Barbara Anne (Harry) Burkhardt of Pennsauken; three nieces, Barbara Jean (Sam) Chamberlain, Patricia Anne (Tom) Gaskill and Michele Marie (Sean) Dolphin; and five grandnephews and two grandnieces. A nephew, Harry Burkhardt, Jr., predeceases her.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated July 20 at St. Rose of Lima. Burial was in New St. Mary’s Cemetery in Bellmawr.

Donations in Sr. Janice’s memory can be sent to the Development Office of Dominican Sisters of Hope, or St. Rose of Lima School Annual Fund, 300 Kings Highway, Haddon Heights, NJ 08035.