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Sister Joan McIntyre, 84, teacher

Sister Joan McIntyre, 84, a teacher, administrator, and counselor, died Friday, Dec. 4, of cancer at Holy Child Center in Rosemont.

Sister Joan McIntyre
Sister Joan McIntyreRead more

Sister Joan McIntyre, 84, a teacher, administrator, and counselor, died Friday, Dec. 4, of cancer at Holy Child Center in Rosemont.

She was a sister of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus for 62 years.

Sister Joan was a practical woman with a friendly smile who was always interested in others.

The daughter of George F. and Ruth McIntyre, Sister Joan spent her earliest years in Ventnor, N.J.

It was difficult for her to leave the fifth grade at St. James School when her family moved to Ardmore, Montgomery County, but once installed at St. Colman's School, she made many friends, some of whom she kept up with for years.

Sister Joan attended West Philadelphia Catholic Girls' High School in the Class of 1949. She was drawn to the joyful spirit of Mother Mary Terence, a sister of the Holy Child Jesus who taught there.

After graduation, Sister Joan went to work and then in 1950, she entered the Society of the Holy Child Jesus.

Three years later, she began teaching at St. Edward's School in Philadelphia. Among the challenges she faced during her nine-year tenure was teaching 60 boys and girls in a combined fourth- and fifth-grade class.

Sister Joan taught for nine years in Portland, Ore., and four years in Pasadena, Calif., before returning to St. Edward's, this time in the role of principal. She stayed for eight years, enjoying the interaction with parents and students, she told her religious colleagues in Rosemont.

In 1982, she went on sabbatical to Berkeley, Calif., and took some extra time for graduate study.

On returning to Philadelphia, Sister Joan worked in the Social Service Department of St. Gabriel's Hall for five years. The Audubon-based school is a residential treatment center for boys 14 to 18 who have been in trouble with the law.

Later, she was a counselor at Rosemont College and Cardinal Dougherty High School, and for Shalom Inc., a nonprofit counseling center. She retired in 2001.

During her time as a counselor, Sister Joan "remained on call for anyone in need," her colleagues said. Even after retiring, she quietly counseled those struggling with addictions. She stopped in 2014 after being diagnosed with cancer.

Sister Joan earned a bachelor of science degree in education from Villanova University in 1961, a master of education degree from the University of Portland in 1965, and a master's degree in applied theology from the School of Applied Theology in Oakland, Calif., in 1985. The latter is affiliated with the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.

She is survived by a brother, James, and nieces and nephews.

A wake service is to be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8, followed Wednesday, Dec. 9, by an 10 a.m. viewing and an 11 a.m. Funeral Mass, all at New Sharon Chapel, 1341 Montgomery Ave., Rosemont. Interment is in Calvary Cemetery.

Donations may be made to the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, 1341 Montgomery Ave., Rosemont, Pa. 19010.