Mary Anselma Maleski, 75, professor emerita of English at LeMoyne College, passed away peacefully on November 21 at Francis House in Syracuse, NY. Born March 15, 1942 in Avoca, PA, she was the daughter of John Maleski and Elizabeth Brezak Maleski. She graduated from Saint John's High School, Pittston, PA, and went on to earn her B.A. cum laude from Marywood College, M.A. from Fordham University, and Ph.D. from the University of Rochester with specializations in Medieval and Renaissance literatures. She was a member of the Congregation of the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary from 1959 to 1971.
Dr. Maleski was a dedicated supporter of Jesuit education and its values. Her teaching career at LeMoyne College began in 1971 and spanned more than thirty years until her retirement as professor emerita in 2005. She is remembered by students and colleagues alike to have a lively, sophisticated, but intensely informed teaching style that often motivated students to enroll in more than one of her courses. Her most popular classes included Chaucer, Middle English Literature, Shakespeare, and Arthurian Legend. Underpinning her creative syllabi was a deep understanding of the Medieval and Renaissance traditions not only from a perspective of their literatures but also through the lens of their philosophy, theology, and music. Her professional research included work on Chaucer, Boethius, John Donne, St. Paul, and St. Augustine. Dr. Maleski directed LeMoyne's Integral Honors Program for nine years, elevating its status as an exceptional teaching and scholarship resource accessible to both teachers and students. She organized two LeMoyne Forums on Religion and Literature and published a festschrift in honor of Joseph Summers containing essays on George Herbert and John Donne. She was awarded an NEH Summer Grant to study with Thomas Roche at Princeton University, and she served as Medieval Series editor for Syracuse University Press for many years.
Musically gifted as a high soprano, Mary sang in church choirs throughout her life, and she cantored at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Syracuse, NY, for nine years. She especially enjoyed singing as a member of the Syracuse Symphony Pops Chorus and the Early Music Chorus, as well as performing programs for Syracuse's Corinthian Club, of which she was a member. She had a profound appreciation and love of all the arts.
Mary's talents, gifts, and treasures were many. But perhaps the most valued treasures throughout her life were her late loving parents, Elizabeth and John Maleski, and her sister "Joanie" and loving husband, John Fruehwirth, each of whom survives her.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 259 East Onondaga St., Syracuse NY., on Tuesday, November 28, at 10:00 am. Viewing will take place at the Cathedral from 9-10 am prior to the Mass. Internment will be at Saint Catherine's Cemetery in Moscow, PA. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Francis House, 108 Michaels Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13208. www.brnsgarfield.com