Another of the amazing Sisters of Mercy who founded and ran St. Mary’s Medical Center in the early years has died. Sister Mary Georgeanna Mankel died peacefully on Thursday, September 7, 2023, at age 86. She was a Sister of Mercy for 69 years.
Her Knoxville-based family had many members including her brother, the late Rev. Monsignor Francis Xavier Mankel, a Catholic priest since 1961 and a founder of the Diocese of Knoxville on Sept. 8, 1988. Monsignor Mankel was principal of Knox Catholic High School from 1967 to 1979 and was superintendent of Catholic schools for the diocese from 1989 to 1991.
He died June 21, 2017, and his service was streamed over the internet so Sister Georgeanna could hear it. By then she was living under the care of the Sisters of Mercy convent, based at 2629 Pennington Bend Road, Nashville TN 37214.
Sister Georgeanna entered the order on September 8, 1954. She earned her bachelor’s in mathematics at Our Lady of Cincinnati College, her master’s in education at the University of Tennessee and obtained her license as a registered nurse at Aquinas Jr. College.
Sister served as nurse at St. Mary’s Medical Center, St. Bernard Retirement Home and Mercy Convent. She was a teacher, mission coordinator and music minister in Tennessee parochial schools, and served as spiritual care and support for patients and their families at St. Mary’s Hospice in Halls (Knox County).
In her final years, Sister Mary Georgeanna received the love and support of her Sisters of Mercy and the devoted nursing staff at Mercy Convent. A private funeral was held at Mercy Convent in Nashville, followed by burial at Calvary Cemetery.
Marshall-Donnelly-Combs Funeral Home, Nashville, handled the arrangements. The full obituary is here.