Sister JoAnne Talarico

August 25, 1936 - May 10, 2019   |   Passed On

Sr. JoAnne volunteered at the Homeless Veterans Stand Down each year. She was a passionate advocate for juvenile justice and in 2013 received the Justice Reform Consortium Justice Award. She spent years visiting a woman at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville.

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Sister Marilyn Kraus

July 26, 1927 - March 24, 2019   |   Passed On

Sr. Jonita’ s first two years “on mission” were at St. Mary’s High School in Marshalltown, Iowa, from 1951 to 1953. Sr. Marian Smith says that the two of them would walk to Jackson’s bakery on Saturday and pick up all kinds of wonderful baked goods. From Marshalltown she went back to Ottumwa Heights where she taught biology to the academy students. She was there at the time of the fire in 1957 and moved with the Heights faculty, first to the mansion on Elm Street that had recently been purchased by the congregation. When classes could begin at the former Naval Air Base outside Ottumwa, she moved to the BOQ (Bachelors’ Officers Quarters) with the sisters, novices and college students from foreign countries.

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Sister Kathleen Tomlonovic

January 23, 1939 - March 2, 2019   |   Passed On

She earned a master's degree in Asian languages and literature from the University of Iowa and a doctoral degree from the University of Washington in Seattle. From 1983-85 she was a research fellowship awardee, studying at Beijing University and Sichuan University, China.

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Sister Joanne Di Iulio

March 3, 1926 - December 8, 2018   |   Passed On

​Sr. Joanne Di Iulio was born in Silvis, and entered the Congregation of the Humility of Mary in 1948. Her first vows were pronounced in 1951.

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Sister Gretchen McKean

October 25, 1932 - December 3, 2018   |   Passed On

While studying at Marquette University she was a teaching assistant and went on to become an instructor of biology at Marycrest College and Teikyo Marycrest/Marycrest International in Davenport. She was also the director of the spirituality center at Marycrest International University

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Sister Donna Donovan

June 21, 1941 - September 12, 2018   |   Passed On

After the Salvation Army left Ottumwa in 2014, Sr. Donna and several volunteers organized a committee to continue the tradition of serving Thanksgiving dinner to the public. In their second year, they served 720 home deliveries and around 200 dine-in guests. Sr. Donna was quoted then, “We had lots and lots of people working behind the’s a wonderful day of the legacy of truly thanks-giving.” Sr. Donna herself leaves a legacy as an outstanding teacher, community volunteer, and compassionate friend. I think she can be sure that her conviction that “a teacher’s job is to instill in young people the desire to learn” has borne fruit beyond measure.

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Sister Constance Pailliotet

October 29, 1926 - April 2, 2018   |   Passed On

The article has descriptions of special events held at the Agency and revealed how Sr. Connie had become part of families there. Of special significance were Connie’s efforts to enable students to know their Crow history and language. The bi-lingual program included aides and teachers who were fluent in Crow and could teach in that language and in English. In fact a former professor of Connie’s had linked her with a teacher from England who had a bi-lingual program for natives of Bangladesh. They had committed to sharing outcomes of their experiences.

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Sister Mary Charlene Olear

September 2, 1925 - November 6, 2017   |   Passed On

She began her 46 years of teaching at St. Anthony School in Des Moines followed by Sacred Heart School in West Des Moines; St. Theresa, Des Moines; Our Lady of Lourdes, Bettendorf; St. Alphonsus, Davenport; St. Joseph, Great Falls, MT; St. Mary, Centerville, IA; All Saints in Stuart, IA; St. Louis the King, Phoenix, AZ; Gehlen High School, LeMars, IA; Colo Community Public School in Colo, IA; and West Marshall High School, State Center, IA. After she retired from teaching in 1992, she cared for various elderly friends in Marshalltown who needed a driver, someone to visit them, call them, or pick up their groceries. She also sent birthday cards to dozens of people and an annual Christmas letter to many more.

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Sister Elizabeth Anne Schneider

August 18, 1928 - October 2, 2017   |   Passed On

Psalm 102 “So my soul sings songs to you unceasingly.” She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in music in 1949 from Marycrest College, her Master of Arts degree in music in 1950 from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, and her PhD in higher education in 1970 from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. She continued music education at the University of Iowa, Michigan State University and the University of Minnesota. Psalm 102 “Oh my God I will thank you forever.” Sr. Elizabeth Anne’s ministry in music education took place in Davenport at St. Vincent as music teacher from 1953 – 1960 and at Marycrest College as a faculty member from 1953–1966.

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Sister Mary Ruth Morris

November 10, 1921 - September 2, 2017   |   Passed On

Just think of the miles covered from high school science classes in Iowa, Montana and Arizona; to medical records training and work in Omaha, Nebraska, Ottumwa, Iowa, and Normal, Illinois; to teaching in Ghana with the Peace Corps; to teaching GED and reading classes in Mississippi; to quilting in Davenport; and catching up with reading at Bishop Drumm. Think of all the “thank you’s” that have been offered and how many people have felt a warm glow because of them. Perhaps the best tribute we could offer to Sister Mary Ruth Morris would be our own effort to say “thank you” more often.

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Sister Kevin Bissell

November 26, 1926 - March 31, 2017   |   Passed On

Sr. Kevin said that at some time she taught every subject except commercial courses, music and modern languages. She did community development work among Eskimo communities in the Diocese of Fairbanks, Alaska, and her organizing skills were applied to the design and implementation of large scale international research projects. Sr. Kevin had a wonderful sense of humor, often resulting in laughter from a table in the dining room. She was a voracious reader and watchdog of TV news. On occasion she shared her knowledge of political history with the congregation and through letters to the editor.

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Sister Ann Therese Collins

April 6, 1920 - February 26, 2017   |   Passed On

But perhaps even more a mirror of her life are these words from Mary Nolan, OP. "There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the sun. The early ages of life are filled with wonder and discovery. The later age of life is the time of integration. It is a time to bring together the totality of life’s experiences into a dazzling unity of joy and pain, failure and success, gain and loss, giving and receiving, achievement and struggle. All comes together in gratitude, gratitude for the whole adventure of one’s life.

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Sister Mary Janice McCann

April 23, 1926 - February 24, 2017   |   Passed On

Mother Teresa said, “Give your hands to serve and your heart to love.” As we look back on the life of Sister Jan, I think we can say with confidence that she did both very well. And so, we thank God for her even as we mourn her passing, pray for her and commend her soul to God.

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Sister Mary Ellen Freeman

August 16, 1943 - December 24, 2016   |   Passed On

We can easily find her quilt square in the large quilt at the bottom of the stairs. Look for the yellow square, with a “smiley face” in the second row from the bottom. Around it are blocks representing important aspects of her life: CHM community, family, prayer, service, and fun. Mary Ellen said she loved to laugh and thought she could make others laugh too.

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Sister Elizabeth Thoman

June 18, 1943 - December 22, 2016   |   Passed On

Sister Elizabeth’s life was remarkable because her horizons kept expanding, both personally and professionally, calling forth a plenitude of gifts.

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