Mary “Be” Mardel, RSCJ, dies at 104

Students reflect on the life of beloved school figure


Nano Visser

Mary Mardel, RSCJ, celebrating her 100th birthday in her eponymous chapel. Sr. Mardel was often known as Be — a nickname given to her by her family.

Sofia Kozlova, Reporter

On Monday, Mary “Be” Mardel, RSCJ, passed away at the age of 104. Convent & Stuart Hall’s chapel, which is named after Mardel, has an altar in place for people to pay their respects.

“Mary Mardel had a very accomplished life,” said sophomore Margaux Tellini. “It’s amazing that people today can live such fulfilling lives where they can do what makes them happy.”

Mardel spent over 40 years working in the Convent & Stuart Hall community. She took on roles such as teaching at the elementary school, working as Dean of Students, and finally becoming the Superior. 

“We were so lucky to have Be with us for 104 years,” Head of Convent High School Rachel Simpson said. “It was also so special to be able to have the chapel in her name — because it was such an important place for her and her family,”

Mardel was a resident of the Oakwood RSCJ community but spent a lot of time at the Broadway campus. She also spent her time attending school chapels and other ceremonies, according to senior Natalie Posner.

“I remember hearing stories about Be’s impact on the school and seeing her at chapels,” Posner said. “It was really moving how she educated students and had such a big role in our school, even in her 90s and 100s,”

Mardel was one of the founding mothers at Broadway, along with Reverend Mothers Rosalie Hill, Eleanor Deming, and Louisa Williams. Mardel will be deeply missed but her legacy and presence will live on, according to Tellini.

“Our school has been able to hold so many dear memories with Be and her light will stay with this school in the present and future,” Simpson said. “Whenever I would visit Be, I was always surprised by how much she thought and how present she always was.”

Mardel was known as the “heart and soul of Broadway”, which encapsulates her spirit and meaning to the school, according to Simpson. There will be a memorial hosted for Be in the coming weeks to commemorate and celebrate her life.

“I hope our school will continue to honor her life and legacy,” Tellini said. “Even though I never got the pleasure of meeting her, her story and her impact on our school will always stay with me.”