sister margaret alice daues

February 5, 1928 - April 10, 2015

A delightful, welcoming, humble woman

February 5, 1928, Frederick and Alice (Hutti) Daues of St. Louis, welcomed their second child, who was baptized Audrey Mary at St. Anthony’s Parish. Audrey grew up in St. Stephen’s Parish with her brothers Fred, Dan and Ken. She attended elementary school there and later, Ursuline Academy. Although she intended to go to college, thoughts of a religious vocation intruded. Drawn by the example of her two aunts, Sisters of St. Joseph Fabian and Florence Marie Hutti, she decided to investigate that community, thinking that she could always leave if she didn’t like it.

Audrey entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on September 15, 1945, receiving the habit and the name S. Margaret Alice on March 19, 1946. Initially studying dietetics, she was requested to change to home economics, receiving her degree from Fontbonne College in St. Louis in 1961. 1n 1968 she received a master’s in education administration from St. Xavier College in Chicago and in 1983, a doctorate in administration and church and school leadership from Fordham University in New York.

S. Margaret taught in elementary schools for many years: St. Gregory, in St. Ann, Missouri (1948); Sacred Heart, Muskogee, Oklahoma (1950); Notre Dame de Lourdes, Wellston (1951); St. Francis de Sales, Denver (1953); St. Philip Neri, St. Louis (1953); All Saints, St. Louis (1954); St. Gregory, St. Ann (1958); St. James, Denver (1959). She became the principal at St. Cecilia in Peoria, Illinois (1961) returning to St. Roch in St. Louis (1967).

In 1968 she became principal of Little Flower, Mobile, Alabama. Then S. Margaret became superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Mobile (1973) and vicar for education (1979-1980). In 1980, S. Margaret received a certificate from the mayor of Mobile for her contributions to the civic community. That same year she received the M.O. Beale Scroll of Merit for outstanding education achievements in the Mobile Diocese from the Mobile Press Register.

In 1980 she began studies for her doctorate at Fordham University becoming a member of Phi Delta Kappa, Fordham University Chapter NY. Returning to the south (1983), she went to Shreveport, Louisiana, serving as vicar for education. From 1986-2003 she was chancellor of the diocese. She was only the fifth person in the country who was not a priest to hold that office. She then became director of mission effectiveness for two years. The Diocese of Shreveport recognized her service and contributions with a diocesan medal in 1988.

It was in Shreveport that S. Margaret worked with Bishop Friend, who indeed, became a dear friend over the years. Seeing firsthand the lack of education in the faith, she devoted herself to working with the bishop in setting up programs to enable adults to learn about their faith and receive training to better participate actively in their parishes.

Living with S. Margaret Alice at Notre Dame in Wellston in 1950s S. Teresa Marie Eagan recalls:

This was a hard mission in many ways and came at a difficult time for Margaret as her mother had only recently died very suddenly. Margaret was trying very hard to be a rock of support to the family as they were going through this very difficult adjustment. What I remember most was her sense of humor during this period which enabled us to endure all the problems we were facing.

S. Mary Joyce Bringer remembers,

She was always interested in knowing what was going on at Little Flower in Mobile. She loved her work at the school and she was respected by the people. She always gave 100% in all she did...”

In 2005, after 22 years in Shreveport, S. Margaret retired in St. Louis, where she continued to serve through volunteer work for the community. She moved to the Village at Nazareth in 2013.

She is remembered less for her achievements than for how she treated those persons she encountered in her day-to-day existence with interest and gentleness. She had a sense of humor and was always ready to learn from books, from people and from situations.

S. Helen Oates

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