Teacher, author Sister Marie Coleman dies at age 89

Sister Marie Coleman

Sister Marie Coleman died July 3 at Cloud County Health Center in Concordia.  She was 89 years old and a Sister of St. Joseph for 70 years.  She was born in St Marys, Kan., on Jan. 14, 1921, to Oscar Joseph and Natalie Elizabeth Dagenais Coleman, the seventh of eight children, and was baptized Marie Frances.  She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of  Concordia on Sept. 15, 1939.  On March 19, 1940, Marie Frances received the habit of the Sisters of St. Joseph and was given the name Sister Mary Natalie.  Later she returned to her baptismal name, Marie.  She pronounced first vows on March 19, 1941, and final vows on Aug. 15, 1944.

In 1955, Sister Marie received a bachelor’s degree in education from Marymount College, Salina, and in 1971 received a master’s degree in education from the University of Kansas.  Sister Marie taught elementary grades in the Kansas cities of Salina, Collyer, Tipton, Pfeifer, Oakley and Cawker City; Silver City, N.M.; and Aurora, Ill.  She finished 30 years of teaching elementary and began teaching learning disabled students at the secondary and junior high level in 1971 in the Kansas City, Missouri Public School System.  Upon finishing her teaching career in 1981, she trained to be a prison/jail chaplain and counselor.  She practiced her prison ministry in Washington, D.C., Mt. Rainier, Md., Grand Island, Neb., and Salina.  In 2007 Sister Marie retired to the Motherhouse.  She remained active in her retirement by writing a book “The Sisters Who Loved Me” telling of her memories as an “orphan” in the care of the Sisters of St. Joseph at the St. Joseph Home in Abilene. Her book was published in May 2010.

Sister Marie was preceded in death by her parents, five brothers and two sisters.  A Bible Vigil Service will be held Monday, July 5,  at 7 p.m. in the Sacred Heart Chapel at the Nazareth Motherhouse with Sister Bette Moslander as the eulogist.  The Mass of Christian Burial will be Tuesday, July 6, at 10:30 a.m. in the Sacred Heart Chapel with the Rev. Jim Dalen presiding.  The burial will be in the Nazareth Motherhouse Cemetery.  Chaput-Buoy Mortuary, 325 W. 6th St., Concordia, Kan., is in charge of arrangements.

Memorials for Sister Marie Coleman may be given to the Sisters of St. Joseph Health Care/Retirement Fund or the Apostolic Works of the Sisters; P.O Box 279, Concordia KS  66901.

5 thoughts on “Teacher, author Sister Marie Coleman dies at age 89

  • September 10, 2010 at 10:30 am

    My aunt Sister Marie meant so much to me in the few short times that I got to be with her, she showed me care and tenderness more than any other relative I have. I did not get to be informed of her passing until I tried reaching her at the St Joseph’s home. God surely has a special place for her now and I will always keep her in my prayers.

  • July 6, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    I always enoyed visiting with Sr Marie. She was a very kind and thoughtful person. This world will miss her. Rest in peace Sr Marie.

    Greg Rickers

  • July 6, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    In thinking of Marie and the witness of her life, I keep going back to the passion for justice which she lived out in these past nearly 30 years.
    Active Inclusive love was just that–a love that reached out and included
    those who society often saw as “other”. To Marie, these were indeed
    “the dear neighbor”.

  • July 6, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Aunt Sr.Marie was a fine example of a wonderful person. Have never met anyone like her. God be with her.
    Tess Hewitt

  • July 5, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Sister Marie was a wonderful and kind person. She always enjoyed our visits. Her words of wisdom will always be remembered and my children will never forget her.

    She will be greatly missed

    Dan, Gerry Lou, Michaela, Shaina, and Brianna

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