We remember . . . Geraldine Olon, SSJ

Sister Geraldine Olon, SSJ, age 91, of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania, died on December 22, 2022. She was in the 73rd year of her religious life. Sister Geraldine was born in Oil City, PA, on July 12, 1931, the daughter of the late Michael and Anna (Burke) Olon. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from St. Joseph Parish in Oil City, PA, on September 1, 1950, and professed her final vows on August 15, 1956.

Sister Geraldine graduated from Villa Maria College, Erie, in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science in elementary education. She continued her studies at Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, and received a Master’s degree in reading education in 1972. 

She taught at Elk County Christian High School in St. Marys, PA; St. Leo Magnus in Ridgway, PA; and St. Mary in Reynoldsville, PA. In addition, she taught at Holy Rosary, St. Andrew, and Sacred Heart schools in Erie. She was also a secondary-level reading specialist at Villa Maria Academy. 

In 1986, Sister Geraldine began her ministry in The Charismatic Renewal in the Erie Diocese as executive director of the Word of Life Center. She was involved in the administration and activities of the center, helped to establish Life in the Spirit seminars, Bible studies, and praise fests and retreats. She was part of the Villa prayer meetings, the Glory Group, and was a founding member of the Bread of Life community and the House of Praise. In addition, she played an active role in presenting annual diocesan conferences.

Sister Gerry’s cheerful attitude, sense of humor, and warm, down-to-earth manner were a blessing to all who came in contact with her. 

In addition to her parents, Sister was preceded in death by three sisters, Phyllis Olon, Ruth Balot, and Barbara Kostek; and by four brothers, Thomas, Frederick, James, and Lawrence Olon. She is survived by a sister, Mary (Raymond) Pilewski of King of Prussia, PA, two brothers, Richard (Jeni) of Virginia, and Eugene of Oil City, PA, a sister-in-law, Shirley (Lawrence) Olon, of Bristol, TN, and many nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her dear friend, Colette Palmer, SSJ, and the Sisters of St. Joseph.             

Friends may call at the Sisters of St. Joseph Community Living Center, 5031 West Ridge Road, Erie, on Tuesday, December 27 from 2 to 4 p.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 4:30 p.m. The Mass will also be live-streamed on the Sisters of St. Joseph Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SSJErie/ and the SSJ Erie YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/SSJErie/live. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery.


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