Isabelle M. Healy, 84, passed away peacefully on June 2, 2020 at St. Martha Manor in Downingtown, PA. Born in Buffalo, NY, the youngest of six children, she was the daughter of the late Isabelle and Simon Healy.
After graduating in 1953 from Mount Mercy Academy in Buffalo, NY, Isabelle joined the Medical Mission Sisters in Fox Chase, PA. While a member of the Medical Mission Community, Isabelle attended Chestnut Hill College in Chestnut Hill, PA and earned a B.A in History in 1961. She earned a Master of Art (MA) in Education from The Catholic University of America in 1965. She also studied at the Center for Intercultural Formation in Cuernavaca, Mexico in 1966.
In the mid 1960’s Isabelle was responsible for the St. Theresa’s Institute – a junior college used by Sisters from around the world and in 1968 she was appointed Formation Coordinator. During the Tet Offensive in Vietnam in 1967-68, Isabelle was a volunteer at Holy Family Hospital in the City of Quinhon in South Vietnam. In 1970 the congregation contracted with Management Design Inc. (MDI) to work with the order as it navigated its many changes in response to Vatican II. Isabelle spent a year in Rome as part of a team that facilitated a two-month international meeting of women in the health field.
In 1974 Isabelle left the Medical Mission Sisters and settled in Cincinnati, Ohio where she continued to work for MDI.
Isabelle served as a community volunteer for Citizens for Civic Renewal until 2010. She was the Project Manager of the Elderly Home Repair Program for PWC. Her passion for social service advocacy and activism continued until her health no longer permitted
In 1986 she founded Working Together and worked as a Personal Coach and Group Facilitator until 2011 serving the needs of nonprofit organizations around the country including Catholic Social Services, Good Samaritan Hospital and St. Aloysius Orphanage.
In 2004, at the age of 68, with the goal of bringing her organizational knowledge and skills into the civic community, Isabelle returned to school and in 2007 earned a Master of Leadership in Social Artistry, a first-ever program, from Graduate Theological Foundation.
Isabelle loved organic gardening and enjoyed baking bread. For many years she was an active member of the Cincinnati Irish Folk Dancers. Isabelle belonged to a creative writing group called “Women Writing for Change.” She loved music and had a beautiful singing voice.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brothers, James, Jack (and his wife Barbara) and Don; and her sister, Terry. She is survived by her brother, Ed (Mary) and sister in law, Carol (wife of James). She is also survived by ten nieces and nephews, 17 great nieces and nephews and 3 great-great nieces and nephews.
Isabelle will also be remembered by many friends, neighbors and colleagues in Cincinnati and around the county.
Isabelle’s final resting place will be at Holy Cross Cemetery in Lackawanna, New York.
Memorial services will be held at a later date.
Donations in Isabelle’s memory can be made to: The Medical Mission Sisters, c/o Sister Frankie Vaughn, MMS Administration Building, 8400 Pine Road, Philadelphia, PA 19111.