TOWN - Sister Mary Louise Landry, R.S.M, (Gertrude Agnes), 103, died peacefully on Friday, July 24, 2015 at Frances Warde Convent, with her religious family by her side.
Sr. Mary Louise was born in Old Town, Maine on August 18, 1911 to Hubert Landry and Caroline (Tardif) Landry. While attending Orono Catholic High School, Sr. Mary Louise worked in her father's bakery, rising early to help bake before school and tending to the store after school.
In 1929, she entered the Sisters of Mercy, Portland, from St. Joseph's Parish, Old Town. She continued her post-secondary education at St. Joseph's Normal School and Our Lady of Mercy College, (St. Joseph's College, Standish) receiving a B.S. in Ed. and a B.A. in French. Sister Mary Louise obtained her degree at Fordham University College of Pharmacy, cum laude. She was one of the few women in this accelerated program. While there, she received three awards: Bronx County Pharmaceutical Association Prize, The Dr. Jacob Diner Medal and the Merck Award.
Sister Mary Louise began her ministry in elementary education in 1929 and taught at the following schools: Kavanagh School (Cathedral), Portland; St. Dominic's School, Portland; St. Mary's School, Houlton; St. Mary's School, Biddeford; Immaculate Heart of Mary School, Fairfield; the Public School, Benedicta; and St. Patrick's School, Portland. In 1945, she began her career as a the chief pharmacist at Mercy Hospital; a position she held until 1968. During part of that time, she was also the pharmacology instructor for the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing. For eighteen of those years, Sister Mary Louise was assistant administrator at Mercy and was Administrator from 1969-70. From 1967 - 1973, she served on the Leadership Council of the Sisters of Mercy in Portland.
During her years at Mercy, Sr. Mary Louise also was very active in the civic and ecumenical communities; served as a trustee on several boards and was a member of many professional organizations. She also was the recipient of numerous awards for her service to others.
In 1976, Sr. Mary Louise retired from Mercy Hospital and was assigned to Eagle Lake. She opened the first retail pharmacy in town to serve the needs of the Nursing Home as well as the townspeople. Sr. Mary Louise worked in this ministry for eleven years. She continued to serve the parishioners in St. Mary's Parish as the first woman Chaplain of the Knights of Colum-bus, was a member of the Ladies of St. Anne, a Eucharistic Minister and a frequent visitor to the sick.
She also served for eighteen years on the Board of Directors of Northern Maine General Hospital. In 1995, she retired to St. Joseph's Motherhouse, Portland where she continued her interests in people by being active in the Catholic Daughters of America and volunteered in the Motherhouse Gift Shop. In 2004, she moved to the newly opened Frances Warde Convent, Portland. Despite her visual impairment, she continued her interest in others by corresponding with cards and letters to her family and friends all over the world.
Sr. Mary Louise enjoyed traveling. Whenever there was an opportunity to go, she was always ready for a visit or a ride. That's probably why when asked what she'd like for her 101st birthday, she said, "a ride around Casco Bay." She enjoyed the ferry so much she went again on her 102nd!
Sr. Mary Louise was a woman of prayer. Her faith was nurtured at home and continued to deepen in her vowed life as a religious. It was that faith that spirited her on to share her joy, kindness and freedom to reach out to others. As a Sister of Mercy for eighty-six years, she lived her motto faithfully, All for Jesus through Mary.
In addition to her dear parents, she was predeceased by her siblings, Sr. Eveline Landry SJM, Theresa Cox, Albertina Matthei, and Clarence, Eugene, Pierre and Arthur Landry.
She is survived by her nieces, Eveline Petrie, Lanette Petrie, Peggy Roy, Marie Fobus, Rose Landry, Jean Mack; nephews, Clarence Landry, Brian Landry, and James Landry. Her nieces and nephews in California: Carolyn Landry, Jan Hubbard, Pamela Demeules, Bridget Briant; Pierre, Mark and Paul Landry.
Visiting Hours for Sr. Mary Louise will be held at Conroy-Tully Crawford South Portland Chapel, 1024 Broadway, South Portland, on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 from 3-7PM with a Prayer Service at 6PM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 at 10AM at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 307 Congress Street, Portland. Interment to follow at New Calvary Catholic Cemetery. To view Sr. Mary Louise's memorial page, or to share an online condolence, please visit www.ctcrawford.com.
Those desiring may make memorial donations to: Mercy Hospital, Development Office, 144 State St., Portland, ME. 04101.