Sister Hedy Marie, SND; July 23, 1932 – December 27, 2020 (formerly Sister Mary Claudia)
Sister Hedy Marie Olesky owed her life to the flu pandemic of 1918. Her parents, Charles Olesky and Nellie Dominikowski Kowalski, lost their spouses during that epidemic. After the pandemic ended, they met and married, blending their five children into a family. Over the years, eight more children were born; Hedy was the second youngest. She entered Notre Dame as a postulant on February 2, 1951. At investment, she received the name Sister Mary Claudia.
Sister began her career as a primary grade teacher. In 1966 she earned a bachelor’s degree in education from St. John College in Cleveland. An excellent, creative teacher, she was frequently called upon to mentor beginning teachers, guiding, and encouraging them to be the best.
In June of 1982, due to health issues and the need to help care for her mother and siblings, she requested a dispensation from her vows.
Hedy continued to teach the primary grades. In 1991 she was asked to assume the role of Director of Religious Education. She resumed her studies, earning a Master of Pastoral Studies degree from Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana. During these years, Hedy began to visit and volunteer in the Health Care Center in Chardon. She renewed acquaintances and became interested in the Associate relationship, making her Associate Covenant in 2001. Her love for the sisters and the congregation prompted her to seek readmission to the Sisters of Notre Dame in 2006. As a pastoral care volunteer, she ministered to the sisters in the Health Care Center.
The Memorial Mass for Sister Hedy Marie was held on December 31, 2020 at 10:30 a.m.