Obituary for Sister Jerome Corcoran

Sister Jerome Corcoran, OSU, a long-time leader in education in the city of Youngstown and advocate for the poor, died on Sunday June 6, 2021 at the Ursuline Motherhouse after complications from a fall two weeks prior.  She was 105. 

Irene M. Corcoran was born on 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 February 22, 1935 and made her perpetual profession on August 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 over 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 1953-1972.  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 1960-1972.  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 the 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, NAACP, and was a judge for the Youngstown Vindicator Spelling Bee for over twenty 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 held at St. Michael Parish, Canfield, on Friday, June 11 at 4 pm.  Calling hours will be on Thursday, June 10 at the Ursuline Motherhouse, 4250 Shields Rd., Canfield, from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m.  Those who plan to come to the calling hours at the Motherhouse must wear a face mask and show proof of vaccination. Calling hours will also precede the funeral at St. Michael Parish, from 2 p.m. until 3:45 p.m. Private interment services will be at 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. Checks can be mailed to The Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown, 4250 Shields Rd., Canfield, Ohio, 44406. All proceeds will be used to continue the mission and ministries to which Sister Jerome dedicated her life – education and care for the poor.

Click the following link to read more about one of these ministries that she started, Ursuline Sisters Scholars.

The Ursulines Mourn the Death of Sister Jerome

Sister Jerome Corcoran

The Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown mourn the death of Sister Jerome Corcoran. She died Sunday, June 6, 2021 at the Ursuline Motherhouse in Canfield, Ohio. She was very peaceful.

The Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown have been surrounding her with prayer for the last two weeks. We trust she is now rejoicing with all the Holy Ones and her Loving God.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Sister Jerome Corcoran inducted Into Ohio Senior Citizen Hall of Fame

jeromeSister Jerome, a Chicago native, moved to the Youngstown area as a child. She later entered the Ursuline Sisters and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from Catholic University of Ohio and a doctorate from Case Western University, going on to teach classes at several universities.

For decades, she has been involved in numerous initiatives to assist needy children and adults.

Sister Jerome [at the age of 100] recently retired from Sister Jerome’s Mission, which she founded and ran, but she continues to tutor residents at the Community Corrections Association.

On May 19, 2016, Sister Jerome was inducted into the Ohio Senior Citizen Hall of Fame. Read the Induction. View the video clip of Sister Jerome’s acceptance.


Women’s Federation Bestows Honors

Outstanding women of the Mahoning Valley received honors at the May 15 meeting of the Youngstown Area Federation of Women’s Clubs, which took place at Shepherd of the Valley, 301 W. Western Reserve Road.

sr jeromeRecognized for educational excellence was Sister Jerome Corcoran. Sister Jerome founded the Youngstown Community School and is director of Sister Jerome’s Poor, a local ministry of the Ursuline Sisters. Sister Jerome’s Poor is a new ministry sponsored by The Ursuline Center to help needy working families and college students struggling to pay bills. Sister Jerome Corcoran is the director of our newest ministry which is actively supported by Sister Nancy Dawson, president of the Board of Directors of The Ursuline Center and general superior of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown.
The Women’s Federation has enriched the community for 106 years, emphasizing continuing education and educational leadership.

Sister Jerome’s New Duties

The Millcreek Children’s Center announced the selection of a new executive director for Millcreek Children’s Center, Michele Grant.

After orientation, Michele Grant will succeed Sister Jerome Corcoran, who has led the recognized innercity preschool for 35 years. Sister Jerome will stay on to work on projects for the poor, as well as tracking graduates of Millcreek Children’s Center and Youngstown Community School.

Millcreek Children’s Center

Millcreek Children’s Center is a preschool for children ages three to five serving the Youngstown, Ohio area since 1976. Sister Jerome Corcoran, the Executive Director, has her Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Research and Education. She has been the Director and founder of the Center since its beginning, 33 years!

Denise DeBartolo York, who along with her husband, John York, own the San Francisco 49ers, visited the Millcreek Children’s Center on Wednesday December 23, 2009, with her son, Jed, and daughters Jenna and Mara to give presents to the children.

“I’m so gratified to be able to do what I love, and I love making a difference in the lives of children,” said DeBartolo York, who has given gifts to children at the center for the past 20 years.  Click here to read the full article