Alum Celebrates 100th Birthday

Congratulations to Mrs. Josephine Ficorelli-Wlodarczyk, celebrating her 100th birthday on December 15. 

She is a 1940 graduate from St. Joseph’s Girls’ Academy, located across the street from St. Joseph’s High School at Jay and Orleans in Detroit. 

The Girls’ Academy curriculum emphasized secretarial skills, which Mrs. Ficorelli-Wlodarczyk used throughout her career. She worked at the Selfridge Air Force Base during World War II, and later was an administrator for a Detroit area nursing home until her retirement. 

Mrs. Ficorelli-Wlodarczyk is the mother of former teacher Mrs. Mary Riley, and the grandmother of alumni Patrick Riley (‘04) and Michael Riley (‘07). 

At her grandson’s 2004 graduation, Mrs. Ficorelli-Wlodarczyk recognized Brother Patrick McNally as the “little kid she used to babysit” during her teenage years. 

The Girls’ Academy was established by the Sisters of Mercy, prior to WWII, and dissolved at the end of the war. The Christian Brothers took over the facilities and used them for St. Joseph’s High School, established in the 1880s. St. Joe’s closed in 1964, and approximately 60 students finished their senior year at De La Salle Collegiate, then located at Conner and Glenfield.


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