Sister Mary Noel Frey passed away early Sunday, October 11, 2020, at St. Bernardine Home in Fremont, Ohio, at the age of 83. Born Imelda Sylvia Frey on November 28, 1936, she was one of thirteen children born to Mary Ann Hunkele and Jerome George Frey, Sr. of Kirby, Ohio.
A few months after graduating from Union Building High School in Upper Sandusky, she entered the Sisters of Mercy of Cincinnati in 1954. At her religious Reception in 1955 she received the name Sister Mary Noel and she pronounced her lifelong vows on August 16, 1960.
Sr. Mary Noel was a Sister of Mercy for 66 years. Her early ministry included teaching elementary and secondary education at St. Vincent de Paul, St. Catherine, and McAuley High School, all of Toledo, as well as at St. Mary’s Mansfield. She earned a BS in History and Latin from Our Lady of Cincinnati College and a Master’s degree in Religious Studies from the University of Dayton. She also received certification and advanced training in pastoral care and was a professional hospital Chaplain for over 25 years, providing care at a variety of hospitals in northern Ohio, including St. Charles Hospital of Oregon, Lorain Community Hospital, and St. Rita’s Medical Center in Lima.
In 1992 she received the “Woman of Achievement Merit Award of Recognition,” as well as the 1993 “Elizabeth Coleman Award,” for her outstanding ministry to the Lorain community. Then, in 2011, she was further recognized as a “Legend of St. Rita’s” for her pastoral work in this at St. Rita’s hospital.
Sr. Mary Noel loved music throughout her whole life. A gifted pianist and organist, she taught herself the guitar when it became popular for use in the Catholic Church. Her arrangement of the “Our Father” is still used in parishes and in the Mercy Community. In addition, Sr. Mary Noel served as Director of Music at St. Paul in Chains of Huron, Ohio, and as Chair of the Music Committee of the Toledo Diocesan Liturgical Commission.
Sr. Mary Noel retired in 2012 to St. Bernardine Home in Fremont, Ohio, where she continued to enjoy an active life and remained eager to share her gifts as a liturgist, organist, and sacristan. Sr. Mary Noel also loved nature, especially flowers. She was known to take daily walks through the Our Lady of the Pines grounds. She would look for new blossoms and then use them to create beautiful bouquets of flowers to decorate St. Bernardine chapel for each liturgical season.
Sr. Mary Noel was preceded in death by her parents, Jerome and Mary Ann Frey, and by her siblings: Agatha E. (Frey) Thomas, Edwin Frey, Wilfred Frey, Gerold Frey, Norman Frey, Miriam C. (Frey) Vent, Jerome S. Frey, and Herman J. Frey.
Sr. Mary Noel is survived by her siblings: Cyril R. Frey, Frederick D. Frey, Rosalie D. (Frey) Pahl, and Norbert R. Frey along with their families, many friends, and her beloved Sisters of Mercy community.
Contributions may be made in her memory to St. Bernardine Home in Fremont, OH. Private services will be held at St. Bernardine Home later this week.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.hannemanfuneralhomes.com
Hanneman-Chudzinski-Keller Funeral Home, Fremont, Ohio has been entrusted with arrangements.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Sr. Mary Noel Frey, R.S.M., please visit our floral store.
St. Bernardine Home
1220 Tiffin Street, Fremont OH 43420