Cover photo for Sister Mary Cyrilla Hellman, S.N.D.'s Obituary
Sister Mary Cyrilla Hellman, S.N.D. Profile Photo

Sister Mary Cyrilla Hellman, S.N.D.

December 11, 1922 — December 12, 2022

Sister Mary Cyrilla Hellman was a woman of extraordinary wit, talent, and vision, who lived her life in seemingly ordinary--but highly effective--ways. An adventure-seeker, an “in charge” kind of person, Sister characterized herself as a farm girl, who treasured her German heritage in Delphos, Ohio. But a century of generous community spirit, creative work to benefit others, and life-giving friendships proved her dynamic, evangelizing spirit.
Sister returned her life to God on December 12. Celebrating her 100th birthday with a small party, Sister claimed she was ready for her last journey, occurring that very night.
Born on December 11, 1922, and baptized Mary Ann, she was the fourth child of six born to Otto and Celicia (Elwer) Hellman. Graduating from Delphos St. John High School in 1940, she entered the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1941. Sister’s specialty was education for which she obtained a master’s degree in Special Education from Catholic University of America. She was a particularly skilled teacher of younger children, kindergarten through grade 5 at Gesu, Ladyfield, and Mary Immaculate schools in Toledo. Seeing her expertise, the diocese of Toledo asked her to be the supervisor for schools (1965-1970). She became a community consultant for the Sisters of Notre Dame (1965-1975), after which she became principal of Lial School in Whitehouse, Ohio. After this, she began a 20-year career of teaching grade 5 in Monroeville and Norwalk.
No matter the assigned ministry, Sister always aimed for more. Besides her assigned teaching, she became a speech therapist, an advocate at Kinder CASA Board, and a member of Mayor’s Committee for Spanish Services in Norwalk. While teaching at St. Paul Elementary School in Norwalk (1984-2002), she performed pastoral ministry toward the sick in the parish, which eventually became full-time parish ministry in 2002. Until she left Norwalk in 2009, Sister was a GED instructor as part of her ministry to inmates at Huron County Jail. For her dedication in Norwalk, the parishioners gave her a pilgrimage to Medjugore. Volunteer work in hospital and prison ministry continued in Toledo for six more years.
When it opened in 2015, Sister moved to the Sisters of Notre Dame Center in Whitehouse. Her community service continued until she went to the Ursuline Center (Toledo) in 2019 and the Gardens of St. Francis (Oregon) in 2021. Even in these Centers, Sister would pedal her feet, rolling her wheelchair to visit other residents with whom she shared her faith and prayer. The family of one resident even “adopted” Sister into their family and created a framed “certificate” of the “adoption,” which became one of Sister’s most prized possessions.
She is preceded in death by her parents and sisters Adelene Brodman, Florence Grew, Clara Lindstrom, and Martha Brehmer. She is survived by her sister Agnes Rose Szpila, along with nieces and nephews. She will be greatly missed by her religious community.

Visitation will be held at the Sisters of Notre Dame Center at 5900 Davis Road, Whitehouse, OH on Thursday, December 15 at 2:00 until the Funeral Mass at 4:30. Burial will be at Resurrection Cemetery on Friday, December 16 at 9:30. Tributes may be made to the Sisters of Notre Dame at 1656 Henthorne Drive, Suite 200, Maumee, OH 43537. Arrangements are entrusted to the Urbanski Funeral Home, A Life Celebration Home, 5055 Secor Road, Toledo. To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sister Mary Cyrilla Hellman, S.N.D., please visit our flower store.


Visits: 0

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors