Sister Eleanore Furman, (formerly Sister M. Benedict), died at Rosary Care Center on November 22, 2020. The daughter of Joseph and Catherine Furman entered the convent from SS. Peter and Paul Parish in Detroit, Michigan in 1949. Sister Eleanore professed her first vows in 1953 and her final vows in 1956. She wanted to be a Sister just like the Sylvania Franciscans who taught her in grade school. She was drawn to them because of their kindness and care for her as one of their students.
Sister Eleanore was well prepared for her ministry in education. She received a B.A. and M.A. in Education from Mary Manse College in Toledo, Ohio. She enjoyed teaching in elementary schools in Ohio, Michigan and Minnesota for 20 years and served as a principal in elementary schools for 20 years. She loved children and they loved her. She was affectionately known as the “hugging nun” and parents and teachers found her to be a good listener, well organized and she had a wonderful sense of humor. She set goals for herself and the ministry and worked hard to achieve them. When her school in Huron, OH had no bussing, she and the pastor and families worked on the campaign to get bussing and they did succeed.
In addition to her work in education, Sister worked in parishes in pastoral care, cared for two of her sisters in their illness and death, was the associate director of the Franciscan Conference Center in Sylvania and worked in teacher development for the Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois.
Among her favorite things to do, Sister Eleanore, along with her good friends Sisters Rebecca and Joan, loved to travel all around the USA and often pitched a tent wherever they went. One year, she and Sister Rebecca even traveled extensively in Europe. Sister Eleanore loved her family and kept in close contact with them throughout her 67 years in the convent.
To know Sister Eleanore was to know a kind, gentle woman who loved to get beautiful cards, fix rosaries, and to pray for any and all who asked for her prayers. The last 14 years of her life she was engaged in Third Age Ministry at Rosary Care Center where she could be seen walking down the corridors with her walker and a rosary in hand praying for anyone she met and greeting them with a smile. She will be missed by her Sisters in community, the residents and staff at Rosary Care Center and her family and friends.