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Sr. Mary Madonna Gies, who taught in area schools and in the Appalachian Mountains, dies

Sister Madonna Gies of the Sisters of Mercy was a teacher and principal at several schools throughout the region, and counted her time as a volunteer in the Appalachian Mountains among her most rewarding experiences.
Sister Madonna Gies of the Sisters of Mercy was a teacher and principal at several schools throughout the region, and counted her time as a volunteer in the Appalachian Mountains among her most rewarding experiences. (Handout)

Sister Mary Madonna Gies, a retired parochial school teacher and principal, died of congestive heart failure March 7 at Stella Maris Hospice. She was 89.

Born in Baltimore and raised on Elsinore Avenue, she was the daughter of William F. Gies, a Baltimore and Ohio Railroad clerk, and his wife, Ethel Lochboehler.

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She attended St. Cecilia School in Walbrook and was a 1945 graduate of Seton High School. She entered the Sisters of Mercy the same year.

She obtained a bachelor of arts degree in education at Mount Saint Agnes College and a master’s degree in administration at Loyola University Maryland.

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From 1948 until 1987 she taught or served as principal at Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Baynesville, Mount Washington Country School for Boys, Sacred Heart School in Glyndon and Shrine of the Sacred Heart, also in Mount Washington.

She also taught at times in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Washington.

Sister Madonna volunteered to work in a region of the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia in 1987. She later said of that experience, “Those nine years were the greatest for me. I worked in prison ministry, gave tutor training workshops and became involved in issues affecting the civic community.”

Sister Anne O”Donnell, a fellow Sister of Mercy, said Sister Madonna was “always pleasant and joyful and although she loved her years as a teacher and principal, she said her time in Appalachia was the happiest in her life.”

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Beginning in 1996, Sister Madonna tutored both Stella Maris and Mercy Medical Center employees preparing for General Educational Development exams. After 2004 she assisted in the educational needs of Mercy Medical employees.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at The Villa, 6806 Bellona Avenue.

Survivors include two sisters, Shirley Gies Dougher of Baltimore, and Patricia Gies of Washington, and numerous nieces and nephews.

--Jacques Kelly

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