Sister Mary Leo Furlong, a former nursing supervisor for the Sisters of Notre Dame and a longtime area educator, died Friday, March 24th, 2017 in Rosary Care Center, Sylvania. She was 89 years of age and in her 70th year of religious profession. May she experience the fullness of eternal life.
What a wonderful gift was the life of Sister Mary Leo during these past eighty-nine years. Kathleen was born in November 1927 into the family of Catherine and Leo Furlong in Bellevue, OH. As the oldest of six children, she learned from her early years how to care for others through her interactions with her siblings. These years helped prepare her for a lifetime of looking out for others in her dual careers of teaching and nursing. She, with her brothers and sisters, attended Immaculate Conception School, Bellevue, OH and there became acquainted with the Sisters of Notre Dame. After graduating from the eighth grade, Kathleen entered the Aspirant School and attended Notre Dame Academy in Toledo. She entered the Congregation in 1945 receiving the name of Sister Mary Leonilde which was later changed to Sister Mary Leo.
Sister Mary Leo received her BA from Mary Manse College and her RN from St. Mary’s School of Nursing, Rochester, MN. In her early years she served on the faculties of the following schools as teacher and/or principal and as an organist: St. Mary, Sandusky; St. Augustine, Napoleon; Sacred Heart, Bethlehem; St. James and Ladyfield in Toledo. Having received her RN in nursing, she then became Charge Nurse for the Sisters of Notre Dame in the Toledo Province and served in that capacity for thirty years until felled by a stroke. After her recovery, she joined the sisters in St. Mary, Leipsic and assisted in Pastoral Ministry. During these latter years, her strong witness to her faith was evident as she devoted herself to community service and her gradual retirement. Sister was transferred to Rosary Care Center in 2011 where she received needed care until her death on March 24.
Preceding her in death are her parents, her brother James and her sister Ann. Left to mourn her are her brother Patrick (Kathleen) and her sisters, Sister Mary Beatrice Ann, SND and Sister Mary Joan SND, many nieces and nephews, and the Sisters of Notre Dame in the Toledo Province.