Sister Mary Arthur Beal, age 95, died peacefully on July 24, 2017 at McAuley Hall Health Care Center in Watchung, New Jersey. Born in Camden, New Jersey, the first of seven children to John and Agnes Beal, she grew up in Collingswood, New Jersey where she was educated by the Sisters of Mercy at St. John School and then at Camden Catholic High School, Upon graduation she worked for one year and entered the Sisters of Mercy in Watchung the following September. She earned her first degree in biology at Georgian Court College (now University) and went on to earn a master's degree in elementary education and a doctorate in child psychology at Fordham University in New York City.
Her first ministry experience brought her to St. Mary School in Trenton, New Jersey and then to Mount Saint Mary, Watchung and later, she was appointed principal at Holy Cross School in Rumson, New Jersey. In 1965, she was assigned to Georgian Court College in Lakewood and, over the next 34 years, Sister Mary Arthur advanced from instructor to professor in the education department. She held her students to high standards and they in turn accepted her challenge. Many maintained their friendships with her long after graduating. Sister Mary Arthur also volunteered as a psychological consultant and provided evaluations for children in Ocean County schools and at McAuley School for Exceptional Children. In addition to her teaching schedule, she served as dean of a residence hall and advisor to students.
In 1984 she was named the dean of the graduate school at a time of significant growth in enrollment. She directed the expansion of both degree and state certification programs and credited success to consistent change over the years and what she described as "an excellent faculty and two assistant deans who worked untiringly." Retiring from her role as dean in 1999, Sister Mary Arthur continued her service to the college as a volunteer in the office of Institute Advancement. In 2010, she celebrated 70 years as a Sister of Mercy at McAuley Hall Health Care Center, humbled to be able to do so and adding "I never wanted to be anything else but be a Sister of Mercy."
She is survived by her brother John Beal, many nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews, many Sisters of Mercy and devoted friends
Visitation will take place at McAuley Hall Health Care Center, 1633 US Highway 22 West, Watchung, NJ on Friday, July 28, 2017 from 9:30 to 11:00 am a Welcome Home Service will begin at 10:00 am
followed by a Mass of Christian Burial 11:00 am. Burial will follow at Holy Redeemer Cemetery, South Plainfield, NJ.
Memorial donations may be made to Sisters of Mercy Mid-Atlantic Community, 1645 US Highway 22 West, Watchung, NJ 07069.