CANFIELD — Sister Jerome Corcoran, OSU, a longtime leader in education in the city of Youngstown and advocate for the poor, died Sunday, June 6, 2021, at the Ursuline Motherhouse after complications from a fall two weeks ago. She was 105.
Irene M. Corcoran was born April 21, 1916, in Chicago, the daughter of Austin J. and Rose McDonnell Corcoran, who were immigrants from Ireland. Her family moved to Youngstown in 1923. She entered the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown on Feb. 22, 1935, and made perpetual profession on Aug. 24, 1940.
She was educated at St. Columba Elementary School and was a 1934 graduate of Ursuline High School. She attended St. John College, Cleveland, and earned a BA in English from Sisters College at the Catholic University of America in 1942. She went on to earn an MA in English from Catholic University and a Ph.D. in Education from Western Reserve University in Cleveland in 1952.
In more than 78 years of active ministry, Sister Jerome held a variety of roles. She taught at St. Columba, St. Nicholas, Struthers, St. Rose, Girard, and Ursuline high schools. In addition, she taught various courses at Youngstown State University, The Catholic University of America, the University of Dayton and Marquette University. She served as a supervisor of education for the Diocese of Youngstown from 1953 to 1972. In 1961, she published The Catholic Elementary Principal, which was used widely across the country.
She also served on the leadership team of the Ursuline Sisters from 1960 to 1972. During those years Sister Jerome helped plan the construction of the Ursuline Motherhouse in Canfield and pay off the mortgage.
Beginning in 1967, Sister Jerome conducted GED classes in Youngstown, enabling people to earn a high school diploma. In 1976, she began Millcreek Children’s Center for preschool education in the city of Youngstown, and in 1993, opened a new facility on Market Street. In 1998, Sister Jerome, along with Sister Mary Dunn and the Board of Developing Potential Inc., began a charter school, Youngstown Community School. Sister Jerome retired from Millcreek Children’s Center in 2012.
Sister Jerome was active in educational and civic causes, including Leadership Mahoning Valley and NAACP, and was a judge for the Youngstown Vindicator Spelling Bee for more than 20 years.
Sister Jerome received numerous awards over the years, including the Sargent Shriver Anti-Poverty Remedial Reading Award, B’nai B’rith Woman of the Year, Mahoning County Bar Association Annual Award, AOH Woman of the Year, Ursuline High School Alumna of the Year, Salvation Army Others Award, the Rotary Club Paul Harris Award, Ohio Pioneer in Education Award, and the Chamber of Conference William G. Lyden Spirit of the Valley Award. The Diocese of Youngstown awarded her Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Honors. In 2016, at the age of 100, Sister Jerome was inducted into the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame.
Sister Jerome leaves her Sisters in community and numerous cousins and close friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Joseph.
The Mass of Christian burial will be 4 p.m. Friday, June 11, 2021, at St. Michael Parish, Canfield. Calling hours will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday, June 10, 2021, at the Ursuline Motherhouse, 4250 Shields Road, Canfield. Those who plan to come to the calling hours at the Motherhouse must wear a face mask and show proof of vaccination. Calling hours also will precede the funeral at St. Michael Parish, beginning at 2 p.m. until 3:45 p.m. Private interment services will be in Calvary Cemetery.
Arrangements were made by Higgins-Reardon Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown. All proceeds will be used to continue the mission and ministries to which Sister Jerome dedicated her life — education and care for the poor.