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God is Good All the Time! All the Time God is Good!
Our sister, Loretta Personius, has left this world to the open arms of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Loretta selflessly gave of herself in every endeavor to her parents, brothers and their wives, nieces and nephews, grand nieces and nephews, the thousands of students she influenced as an art teacher, guidance counselor and principal, and her many dear friends.
She worked tirelessly at her successes. At an early age, Loretta self-learned the art and skill of ventriloquism. When she was 13, the Mayor of Binghamton proclaimed her as the first honorary policewoman in Binghamton history with her dummy pal, “Jabby.” She performed countless times at the PAL Camp, TV Ranch Club, the March of Dimes Telethon, assemblies at area Binghamton City Schools, and in particular her classmates at East Junior and North High on the city’s East Side. She went on to graduate from College Misericordia with a BA in Art Education, then the University of Scranton with a Masters in School Counseling, and then a Masters from Stetson University in School Administration. She was an Art Teacher for the Binghamton City School District, a Guidance Counselor at BOCES, Harpursville and Chenango Forks and an Elementary Principal at Harpursville. After taking a year “off” to do mission work with the Daughters’ of Charity in St. Louis, God directed her to Florida where she continued her devoted career of guiding kids of all ages in the Catholic school systems. She began as a Guidance Counselor at Santa Fe Catholic HS in Lakeland and then moved onto St. Brendan’s Catholic School in Ormond Beach. She attempted to retire at her home in Flagler Beach, however, she kept being called back out of retirement to fill in the need for a principal somewhere in the Florida Catholic school system. In fact, she “retired” 6 times, but her love and care for children brought her back each time. In every case, the staff, the parents and especially the kids loved her to the end of the world.
Her outside interests were bowling and softball in her early days where she had the top average in her bowling league and was selected to the Binghamton Area Women’s Softball All-Star Game at the IBM CC. Later, she spent her time doting on all of her nieces and nephews (12), grand nieces and nephews (25); enjoying her dogs (especially Bailey); dining out with friends; being in the US Army Reserves; and spending countless hours working on our Mom’s family genealogy. She went as far as traveling to Germany twice to gather information and actually discovered several of our cousins. Her German classes at North were very beneficial!
But most of all, she looked out for her three brothers in all aspects. From the time she could hit a baseball further than any of us to the countless other times when a pat on the shoulder or a hug was needed, she lifted us up.
Loretta passed on May 22 at the age of 74 from complications of the Frontotemporal Dementia she was saddled with for at least 5 years. She was predeceased by our parents Charles and Loretta McDonald Personius, her sister-in-law, Dorothy Personius, her cousins Patricia and Harold Clifford and Joanne Yaple, and dear friend Carol Murphy.
She is survived by her three devoted brothers and sisters-in-law: Tom and Kathleen (Binghamton); Jerry and Judy (Captain Cook, HI); Ed & Mary (Cocoa Beach, FL) plus her nieces: Kim (Graham) Olson, Kristin (Joe) Personius Dundon, Feather (Caz) DiMarco, Harmony (Kua) Wright, Joy (Thomas) Personius, Chelsea (Mike) Bobal, Kalani (Billy) Dudek, Brooke (Rob) Jones and her nephews: Kevin (Christina), Zeb (Bronte), Daynal and Matt (Molly) Personius. She leaves behind many special cousins. Also, surviving Loretta is her very special Foster child: Suzanne Zimmerman Fain and Suzanne’s boys, Rock and Max. Suzanne and Loretta remained close since Suzanne lived with Loretta while in her teens. Loretta loved being Momma and Grandma to them. Moreover, she departs from so many dear friends that she truly appreciated and loved. Finally, a special thank you with love to Sister Beth Pearson, IHM.
Calling hours are from 5 to 7 PM on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 at Thomas J. Shea Funeral Home, Inc. A Funeral Mass of Christian burial will be said at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Binghamton at 10 AM on May 31st with burial afterward at Calvary Cemetery. The mass will be livestreamed on www. sheafuneralhome.com/obituaries. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Our Saviour Catholic School, 5301 N Atlantic Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 for a scholarship fund in memory of Loretta Personius.