Cover photo for Sr. Mary Georgette Cunniff's Obituary
Sr. Mary Georgette Cunniff Profile Photo
1945 Sr. Mary 2022

Sr. Mary Georgette Cunniff

June 22, 1945 — June 26, 2022


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Sr. Mary Georgette Cunniff        


Rita Mary Cunniff (Sr. Georgette) was born into a loving family on June 22, 1945, in Brookline, Massachusetts.  Her father, George Cunniff, was a Fireman and her mother a devoted wife and mother to their four children:  Rita, Robert, Marie and Philip.

Growing up in the Brookline area, Georgette attended Catholic schools and graduated from St. Clare High School, taught by our Community of Missionary Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception.  She entered the Community on September 19, 1963, made First Profession of Vows on August 25, 1966 and Final Profession on August 22, 1971.

During her Formation years, Georgette was joyfully involved in academic, spiritual and fun activities.  She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Mount Alvernia College, and later earned a Master’s Degree from St. Bonaventure University.  In 1967 she began her teaching career in Immaculate Conception School in Augusta, GA.  Next Georgette taught Primary Grades in St. Michael’s, Tybee Island.  Going from warm climate to very cold climate, she went to St. Cecilia’s School in Solvay, NY, and taught there for nine years.

The lure of the South brought her back in 1979 to begin a 40-year ministry in Georgia.  Georgette taught at the Cathedral School, Savannah, from 1979-1983.  Then she was invited to serve on the Diocesan level as Director of the Diocesan Department of Christian Formation by Bishop Raymond Lessard, a position she held for eleven years.

In 1994 Georgette took a spiritual Sabbatical at Mercy Center and Berakah Center.  Renewed and energized, she returned to Georgia. While living at St. Boniface Parish in Springfield she began ministering as Director of Religious Education at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Port Wentworth, a position she held for 23 years. In 2019 Georgette retired due to health concerns and her Pastor, Father Tom Murphy, wrote this about her:

     It is difficult to imagine just how many people Sister has

     made a difference to in her 23 years here at Our Lady of

     Lourdes.  I certainly count myself among the thousands.

On June 15, 2019, Georgette received The Marian Award in Savannah.  This recognizes members of the diocese in consecrated life who have served the needs of the people for more than 15 years. Bishop Hartmayer spoke of Georgette’s wonderful Franciscan witness shown over her 43 years in the Diocese of Savannah.

Later that month Georgette traveled to Tenafly, NJ, to begin her retirement.  Her attitude was so positive and physically she did her best to stay active and involved.  For the next three years her health slowly declined and she graciously came to accept her final reality. On June 26, 2022, she made her triumphant entry into Heaven as the Lord said, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Sr. Georgette will be greatly missed by her family, Community and all those friends who loved and supported her throughout the years. She is predeceased by her parents, George and Dorothy, her brother Robert and her niece Jeanette.  She is survived by her sister Marie Ropelewski and her husband Chet, her brother Philip as well as a niece, two nephews, two grandnieces and one grandnephew.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Retirement Fund, Missionary Franciscan Sisters, 790 Centre Street, Newton, MA 02458-2530 in memory of Sr. Georgette. 

Rest in peace, Georgette.  We will miss you.

With love,

Your Sisters in Community

Sister’s Funeral Mass will be live streamed on Thursday July 7th

at 10:45 a. m. 

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