With great sadness, the College of Saint Elizabeth announced the passing of Sister Marian José Smith, who served the College community for 64 years, on October 2, 2012, the Feast of the Guardian Angels. The wake was held in Holy Family Chapel on Sunday, October 7, from 2:00 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. A mass of Christian Burial was held in the Chapel at 6:00 p.m. Burial was on Monday October 8, in Holy Family Cemetery, Convent Station, N.J., at 10 a.m.
Sister Marian José, who ministered as a Sister of Charity for 67 years, entering September 8, 1945, was also an alumna of the College in the class of 1936, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry. She continued her education at Fordham University, Bronx, N.Y., earning a Master of Science degree in physical chemistry and a doctorate in biochemistry.
As professor of chemistry, emerita, Sister Marian José was a renowned scholar/researcher and an extraordinary teacher at the College. She was an instructor of chemistry and coordinator of the chemistry department from 1948 to 1975 and was chairman of the chemistry department and then as professor of chemistry until 2003. Sister Marian José continued research in chemistry until 2012. She was chair of the North Jersey section of the American Chemical Society in 1982.
She inspired generations of students to pursue careers in science and medicine. Four of those students, Lorena Tyson,’55, Dr. Mary Mazzarella DeMayo, ’55, Dr. Barbara Salamone Pineda, ’55, and Eugenia Pikulski Jacoviak, ’55, started the Sister Marian José Smith Scholarship Fund to support science education at the College.
Sister Marian José Smith Was a Life-Long New Jersey Resident
Sister Marian José was born in Hoboken, N.J., the daughter of George W. and Henrietta (Taylor) Smith. In addition to her service to CSE, she served as teacher in Immaculate Conception High School, Montclair, from 1946 to 1948, and she also served as a councilor and assistant provincial in the Western Province of the Sisters of Charity from 1973 to 1976.
From 1988 to 2012 Sister Marian José led the Sister Miriam Teresa League of Prayer and was responsible for continuing to move forward the cause for the canonization of Sister Miriam Teresa Demjanovich of the Sisters of Charity.
She is survived by the Sisters of Charity; her sister Henrietta M. Turner of Long Valley, N.J.; many nieces and nephews; and many grandnieces and grandnephews.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Sisters of Charity Development Fund, P.O. Box 476, Convent Station, NJ, 07961-0476, or the Sister Marian José Smith Scholarship Fund, c/o the CSE Annual Fund, Third Floor, Santa Rita Hall, College of Saint Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road, Morristown, N.J. 07960.