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Obituaries

Sister Mary Leana Kohnen, BVM

Sister Mary Leana Kohnen, BVM, 85, died April 1, 2014, at Caritas Center in Dubuque, Iowa. Visitation will be from 9–11 a.m. on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, in the Marian Hall Chapel followed by a prayer service at 11 a.m. Funeral liturgy will be at 1:30 p.m. Burial is in the Mount Carmel cemetery.

She was born July 31, 1928, to Joseph and Leona Haase Kohnen. She entered the BVM congregation from St. Timothy Parish, Chicago, on Sept. 8, 1947. She professed first vows on March 19, 1948, and final vows on Aug. 15, 1955.

Sister Mary Leana was an elementary school teacher in Dubuque, Iowa City, Davenport, Cedar Falls, Clinton and Muscatine, Iowa; Chicago, Berwyn and East Moline, Ill.; and Tigard, Ore. She was computer coordinator in Muscatine and East Moline.

She was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by a sister, Catherine Halpin, Park Ridge, Ill.; a niece; two nephews; and the Sisters of Charity, BVM, with whom she shared life for 66 years.

Sister Mary Leana Kohnen,
Funeral Welcome
Marian Hall Chapel, April 18, 2014

Good afternoon and welcome to the celebration of life of our Sister Mary Leana Kohnen.

Dorothy Kohnen was born on July 31, 1928, in Chicago. She and her younger sister Catherine were the daughters of Joseph Kohnen and Leona Haase. Dorothy recalled her childhood in an interview. “My Father . . . died when I was seven. My Mother had to find work in an office. Money was always a problem . . . My sister, Kitty, and I [were] very close. We had each other with Father gone and Mother working . . . We lived on the North Side of Chicago, so I went to the Immaculata High School. I liked Immaculata. My favorite teacher was Sister Mary Corinne McGucken, the physics teacher.”

Dorothy entered the congregation on Sept. 8, 1947. On her application for admission, she wrote that she wanted to become a sister because “it seems the most direct way of attaining the one worthwhile goal in the world.” She received the name Leana upon her reception on March 19, 1948, professed first vows on March 19, 1950, and lived 66 years as a BVM.

Leana spent 33 years in elementary education. In Illinois, she was missioned at Holy Cross in Chicago, St. Odilo in Berwyn, and St. Anne in East Moline. In Iowa, she taught at St. Mary in Iowa City, St. Paul the Apostle in Davenport, St. Patrick in Cedar Falls, St. Mary in Clinton, St. Mathias in Muscatine and St. Anthony in Dubuque. However, Leana’s favorite mission was St. Anthony in Tigard, Ore. where she “loved the state and the beauty.”

Leana was a very intelligent, gifted woman with an analytical mind, a diligent work ethic, and a keen interest in computers. After studying computer education at Clarke University, she served as a computer coordinator in Muscatine and East Moline and taught computer education to students in first through eighth grades. People who knew her have commented that Leana had “exceptional organizational skills, experience in assessing new curriculum materials, and concern about working with the strengths and weaknesses of each individual.”

A 1992 Salt article stated that Leana “[felt] strongly that children should sample as many different activities connected with computers as possible . . . She designed a curriculum that attempts to do this.”

“There has been such an improvement in the software available for children since I began this work,” Leana stated, “and recent advances in technology . . . are breathtaking.”

St. Paul wrote, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience . . .” How well these words describe Leana. She was a quiet, gentle and sincere woman, always sensitive to people and their needs, and always grateful.

After retiring, she lived briefly in East Moline before moving to Wright Hall. “I was happy at Wright Hall,” she remarked. “You could hop on a bus and go anywhere in the city.” While “in the city” she loved to visit the arboretum and museums and attend plays with her sister Kitty. “[However] it was providential that I came to Mount Carmel,” she noted. “I had a stroke after I came, so I had the chance to know my way around before the stroke occurred . . . I like to read, especially mystery stories . . . [and the] aides have found large print books for me. They are dear, dear ladies.”

Leana, too, was a dear lady, a faithful servant and a beloved child of God. We fondly recall our memories of Leana and rejoice with her as she now enters into eternal life.

Click here to read wake stories.

If you would like to give a memorial in honor of this Sister click here.


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Sister Florence Davy, BVM (Florencita)

Sister Florence Davy, BVM (Florencita), 89, died Feb. 5, 2014, at Caritas Center in Dubuque, Iowa. Visitation will be from 9–11 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in the Marian Hall Chapel followed by a prayer service at 11 a.m. Funeral liturgy will be at 1:30 p.m. Burial is in the Mount Carmel cemetery.

She was born Sept. 9, 1924, to Edward and Florence McDonough Davy. She entered the BVM congregation from Help of Christians Parish, Chicago, on Sept. 8, 1943. She professed first vows on March 19, 1946, and final vows on Aug. 15, 1951.

Sister Florence was an elementary and secondary school teacher in Glendale and Los Angeles, Calif.; Kansas City, Mo.; Wichita, Kan.; Mason City and Burlington, Iowa; Pontiac, Chicago and Mundelein, Ill.; and St. Paul, Minn. She also served as librarian in Chicago.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a sister Helen Mahoney and brothers Edward and Robert. She is survived by sister Adelaide O’Keefe (Joseph), North Fr. Myers, Fla.; brother James Davy (Diane), Glen Ellyn, Ill.; sisters-in-law Mercedes Davy, South Bend, Ind.; and Phyllis Davy, Rockford, Ill.; nieces and nephews, and the Sisters of Charity, BVM, with whom she shared life for 70 years.

Sister Florence Davy, BVM (Florencita)
Funeral Welcome
Marian Hall Chapel, Feb. 11, 2014

Good afternoon and welcome to the celebration of the life of our Sister Florence Davy.

Mary Florence Davy was born on Sept. 9, 1924, in Chicago, Ill., the second of six children born to Edward Davy and Florence McDonough. She weighed only three pounds at birth and was baptized in the hospital. She and older brother Edward, called Bud, were later joined by siblings Helen, Robert, Adelaide and James.

Florence attended Help of Christians and the Immaculata. In an interview with Sister Joan Newhart, BVM in 2008, Florence commented, “Sister Mary Alethea Garrity was the principal [at Help of Christians] and so good to our family . . . Sister Mary St. Ida Forsyth (Katharine) was a good friend . . . She helped the whole family in many ways . . . [She] also encouraged me to major in home economics.”

Florence graduated from the Immaculata in 1942, but abided by her mother’s wishes to delay entering the novitiate because her brother Bud was in the army fighting in World War II. She waited one year and entered the congregation on Sept. 8, 1943. She received the name Florencita upon her reception on March 19, 1944, and professed first vows on March 19, 1946.

Florence’s first mission was to Holy Family in Glendale, Calif. She commented, “I had 65 students in fourth and fifth grades. I must have used common sense because I had no discipline problems.” Another explanation may be, to quote a member of her set, that “her students loved her because she was a loving teacher and had good composure in her classroom.”

Florence taught grade school for 20 years with additional missions in Kansas City, Mo.; Wichita, Kan.; Mason City and Burlington, Iowa; and Pontiac and Chicago, Ill. Florence also taught home economics courses for 14 years during missions in Los Angeles; Saint Paul, Minn.; and Mundelein and Chicago, Ill. Finally, she served 12 years as a librarian at the Immaculata, Mundelein College and Notre Dame High School in Chicago. She retired in 1992, living in Chicago until moving to Mount Carmel in 2005.

Florence was a beautiful woman and very much a lady. She was quiet, cordial and gentle, but could enjoy a good laugh. And she was always impeccably dressed. Her talent for designing and sewing clothes was an outlet for her creativity and a great asset when the community returned to contemporary dress. Although physically challenged in her later years, she gracefully accepted her limitations and appeared to be at peace.

On her application for admission, Florence wrote, “God wants followers more than anything . . . I believe it is the way God has chosen for me to save my soul.” At her wake service, we heard from Proverbs that “Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” We celebrate the 70 years Florence has “feared” and followed the Lord as a Sister of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and rejoice with her as she enters into eternal life.

Click here to read wake stories.

If you would like to give a memorial in honor of this Sister click here.


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