South Portland - Sister Mary Kneeland R.S.M. 95 yrs., died peacefully January 14, 2024 at St. Joseph’s Convent, Biddeford. She was the daughter of John J. Kneeland and Catherine Carey. Catherine died when Sister was only three years of age. Genevieve Gurry became stepmother for Sister Mary and her siblings sometime later.\n\nSister Mary was born in New Haven, CT. and completed her early education there before moving to MA. where she graduated from Dorchester High School and Boston School of Business in Roxbury. The family then moved to South Portland, ME where Sister Mary was employed at Union Mutual Insurance Co. before entering the Sisters of Mercy in 1958 from Holy Cross Parish, South Portland.\n\nIn addition to her study of religious life, Sister Mary attended St. Joseph’s College, Standish, where she received her Bachelor’s degree. She then was appointed to ministry there, working in the Business Office and Bookstore while at the same time assisting with the Capital Fund Drive. Sister Mary continued her education at Suffolk University receiving a Master’s degree in Business Administration along with membership in the National Honor Society (Delta MU Delta Gamma Alpha chapter). Sister Mary was appointed College Treasurer and she spent almost all her years of service at St. Joseph’s College, a place very dear to her heart. St. Joseph’s unveiled the Sister Mary Kneeland Dining Room, in recognition of her lasting impact at the College.\n\nIn 2017, Sister Mary received an honorary degree from St. Joseph’s College, in recognition of over 55 years of service. She was noted, not only for her ability as Treasurer but her love for the students. Her caring ways and gentle smile welcomed each student to St. Joseph’s Hall where she made them feel “at home” on campus. Over the years many students have visited and have kept in touch with her. Following her retirement as Treasurer, she volunteered in the College Library.\n\nUpon her retirement from St. Joseph’s College, Sister Mary moved to Frances Warde Convent, Portland where she looked forward to reading her favorite authors and to spending more time in prayer. She also enjoyed getting together with her friends, especially those she entered with. Sister Mary once stated, “My motto is: Thy Will Be Done. You try to operate your life that way knowing you are a messenger and God will take care of you.” As a Sister of Mercy this was her faith and it was the way she lived her life. The last few years she spent at St. Joseph’s Convent in Biddeford where she many happy days.\n\nWe are thankful to the staff at Frances Warde Convent, St. Joseph’s Convent, and Northern Light Mercy Hospice for the attentiveness in which they cared for her.\n\nSister Mary was predeceased by her parents and stepmother, her sister Catherine E. and her brothers, John and James. She is survived by a nephew, John Kneeland and a niece Katherine Kneeland and her husband Mark Chaffee.\n\nVisiting Hours will be held at on Thursday, January 18 from 2:00 p.m to 5 p.m. with a Prayer Service taking place at 4 p.m. at the Conroy-Tully Walker South Portland Chapel, 1024 Broadway, South Portland. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, January 19 at 10AM at Holy Cross Church, 124 Cottage Road, South Portland, followed by burial in Calvary Cemetery. To view Sister Mary’s memorial page, the livestream of her services, or to share an online condolence, please visit www.ConroyTullyWalker.com.\n\nIn lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Joseph’s College of Maine, 278 Whites Bridge Road, Standish, ME 04084 or to Sisters of Mercy, 966 Riverside Street, Portland, ME 04103.