Sister Josephine Hynes, 80, a teacher and administrator, died Wednesday, March 4, of cancer at McAuley Convent in Merion, where she lived.
During a long career in education, Sister Jodie, as she was known, spent time at elementary and secondary Catholic schools in the area, including stints at Cardinal Dougherty, Bishop Conwell, and Gwynedd-Mercy Academy High Schools and Merion Mercy Academy.
Sister Jodie was the daughter of Irish immigrants, the third of five girls who grew up in a tight-knit family a few blocks from the old Connie Mack Stadium.
She attended St. Columba School and John W. Hallahan High, where she was a standout basketball player. Sister Jodie entered the Sisters of Mercy in 1952 and professed vows in 1955.
She spent eight years as an elementary schoolteacher, working at Mater Misericordia Academy in Merion; Holy Cross in Springfield, Delaware County; St. Helena in Norristown; and a school in Hialeah, Fla.
Sister Jodie, who earned degrees at Villanova University and Trinity College, spent the bulk of her career in secondary education, teaching Latin and religion locally at Cardinal Dougherty, and spending time at schools in Allentown and in Williamsburg, Va. She was prefect of activities at Bishop Conwell in Levittown and school minister at Gwynedd-Mercy Academy High.
She was well-liked wherever she went, said Sister Marianna Walsh, a friend of almost 50 years.
"You knew if you gave her a job, it would be done as close to perfectly as possible," Sister Marianna said. But Sister Jodie was more than just a hard worker.
"She reached out to all peoples with whom she came in contact - students in school, the people in the kitchen, fellow faculty men and women. She became a real friend to many, and if they had difficulties, she helped them through those," Sister Marianna said.
She was also a connector, close to many friends and especially to her sisters and large extended family. Once you knew Sister Jodie, she would keep in touch with phone calls or notes, even years later.
In 2001, she spent a sabbatical year in Ireland, where she took classes and reconnected with relatives in Galway. Sister Jodie loved music, especially Irish music, and her heritage was important to her.
Upon returning to the area, Sister Jodie volunteered at Merion Mercy Academy for a decade, and retired in 2012.
She was a lifelong avid Philadelphia sports fan, following Big 5 basketball teams, the Phillies, and the Eagles.
Sister Jodie battled four types of cancer, beginning in the 1970s, but handled all of the illnesses similarly - with grace and concern for her loved ones, Sister Marianna said.
She is survived by sisters Mary Nelis, Patricia Hynes, and Cathleen Pfeiffer. Another sibling, Sister Peg Hynes, died in 2002.
Friends may call Monday, March 9, at the Convent of Mercy Chapel, 515 Montgomery Ave., Merion, where a viewing will be held at 6 p.m. A Funeral Mass will follow at 7.
Burial will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 10, in the Community Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to the Sisters of Mercy Mid-Atlantic Community, 515 Montgomery Ave., Merion, Pa. 19066.