July 22, 2018
Sister Mary Joan Furlong, 84, formerly known as Sister Mary Joan Frances, died on July 22, 2018, at the Ursuline Center, Toledo. Sister Joan entered the Sisters of Notre Dame in February, 1952, following her older sisters Sister Mary Leo and Sister Mary Beatrice Ann, who entered the community earlier.
Born Eleanor Frances on May 25, 1934, in Bellevue, Ohio, she was the fifth child of the six children of Leo Patrick and Catherine Beatrice (O’Donnell) Furlong. Sister became an Aspirant with the Sisters of Notre Dame while a student at Notre Dame Academy. She received two degrees in education from Mary Manse College and principal certification from Ball State University and the University of Dayton.
Sister began her highly effective teaching career as a first-grade teacher in diocesan elementary schools: Fremont, St. Joseph; Fostoria, St. Wendelin; Monroeville, St. Joseph; Napoleon, St. Augustine; Toledo, Christ the King and St. Michael. For 28 years she was principal at St. Joseph, Maumee; St. Mary, Muncie, IN; Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Carmel, IN; St. John Elementary School, Delphos, OH; and St. Anthony, Temperance, MI. Sister Joan also spent one year in the Catholic Youth and School Services office of the Toledo Diocese. Retiring from education, Sister used her gift of accuracy as finance assistant for the Sisters of Notre Dame from 2003-2010 and other community service for six years before becoming a resident of the Ursuline Center in September 2016.
Preceding her in death are her sisters Sister Mary Leo and Ann Marie Friend and her brother James. Surviving are her sister Sister Mary Beatrice Ann and brother Lawrence Patrick, who is an associate of the Sisters of Notre Dame.