Age 79

Sister Arlene Semesky was known for her enthusiasm and generosity in sharing her time and talents. She was called home by her God very unexpectedly as the result of a car accident on Sunday, July 16, 2023.

A 1961 graduate of Notre Dame High School in Elmira, New York, she entered the Sisters of Mercy in 1963.  She earned an associate degree in food service administration from Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York, a bachelor’s degree in food service and administration from the University of the State of New York and a master’s degree in home economics education from Mansfield University in Mansfield, Pennsylvania. 

After sharing her culinary skills in the Motherhouse in Rochester, New York for a few years, Arlene returned to her Notre Dame High School as a classroom teacher and cafeteria manager for 29 years. She was one of the recipients of the McAuley Award presented by Notre Dame High School in 2022. This award honors the selfless work of individuals, who like Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy, support the education of women.

Arlene, along with her brother Ted, would bake over 800 loaves of bread for the Sisters of Mercy pre-holiday sales. Customers of Kate’s Tea and Gift Shop in Rochester, New York, will miss her uniquely sewed items.  Her motto was,” By the grace of God, I am what I am.”