Sr. Gemma Gargano, S.H.C.J.

July 6, 1920 ~ January 7, 2021 (age 100)

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Gemma Gargano, SHCJ

Faithful Servant of God

July 6, 1920 - January 7, 2021


Gemma Gargano, SHCJ, a Sister of the Holy Child Jesus for 79 years, died peacefully on Thursday, January 7, 2021. She was 100 years of age.

Sister Gemma's joy in service, responsiveness to the needs of others, and extraordinary generosity and fidelity were hallmarks of her life. No service was too small to escape her notice, and no request was too large to go without a full and generous response from her. A prayerful spirit permeated her daily life.

Jeanne Ronzani, SHCJ, who lived with Sister Gemma in Rye, New York, shared the following, “Sister Gemma was greatly loved by all who knew her. She always was ready to do whatever was needed and never spoke an unkind word to anyone. We will miss her quiet, loving care for all.”

A hardy New Englander, Sister Gemma was born in Revere, Massachusetts, and attended Saint Mary School in Melrose, Massachusetts, where she was taught by the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus. While at St. Mary's, she heard God's call to religious life and entered the Society of the Holy Child Jesus. Sister Gemma made her first vows in 1941 and final vows in 1946. She became well known by her religious name Mother Mary Gemma.

Always willing to tackle the humblest of tasks, Sister Gemma prepared the meals for the Sisters and guests in Holy Child convents in New York City, Waukegan, Illinois, and Summit, New Jersey, for more than 40 years. Along the way, she provided nourishment and down-to-earth wisdom.

In 1985, Sister Gemma moved to the Sisters' community in Rye, New York, where she cared for many guests during their meetings and retreats. While a quiet and gentle person, she shared her abundant generosity with all.

In 2015, Sister Gemma moved to Holy Child Center in Rosemont, Pennsylvania, where her generous spirit and good humor were treasured by the Sisters and staff.

She joins her parents Emilio and Concetta (Buccili) Gargano, her siblings Anita, Edith, Antonio and Pietro (Peter) in eternal rest. She is survived by nieces Connie DeMauro and Judith Snyder and nephews James and David Gargano.

Services and interment are private.  

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Society of the Holy Child Jesus – American Province, 1341 Montgomery Avenue, Rosemont, PA 19010, or make a gift online at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Sr. Gemma Gargano, S.H.C.J., please visit our floral store.


Services and Interment Private


Society of Holy Child Jesus - American Province
1341 Montgomery Avenue, Rosemont PA 19010
Tel: 1-610-525-9900

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