Leonella Gingenbach, SSJ

Sister Leonella Gingenbach, SSJ, age 88, of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania, died on February 3, 2017. She was in the 66th year of her religious life.

Sister Leonella was born in Erie, Pa. on March 3, 1928, the daughter of the late Chester and Leona (Fox) Gingenbach. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from St. Patrick Parish in Erie, Pa. on August 31, 1951, professed her final vows on August 15, 1957, and celebrated her diamond jubilee (60 years) in 2011.

Sister Leonella graduated from Villa Maria Academy in 1946 and continued her education at Villa Maria College from where she graduated in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business education.

Sister Leonella taught at Holy Rosary School, Erie; St. Bernard’s, Bradford; and Villa Maria Elementary School in Erie before spending 20 years as Office Manager and Director of Patient Accounts at Saint Vincent Health Center. She also served as Administrative Assistant and Personnel Director at Spencer Hospital, Meadville for seven years. She was General Superior of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania for eight years which was followed by service in the congregation’s finance office and prayer ministry. Sister Leonella served on the boards of Villa Maria College, Villa Maria Academy and Saint Mary’s Home of Erie. She also served as secretary-treasurer of the U.S. Federation of Sisters of St. Joseph.

She was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her religious community, the Sisters of St. Joseph.