sister marianne thomas

January 6, 1925 - March 5, 2016

Open to God’s will, loved to tell jokes, lived a life of gratitude
Parents August and Catherine (LeFebrve) Thomas of Green Bay, Wisconsin, welcomed their daughter Kathleen Agnes on January 6, 1925.  She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on September 15, 1942.  On March 19, 1943 she received the habit of the Sisters of St. Joseph and the name Sister Marianne, thus beginning seventy-two years as a Sister of St. Joseph.  Her final profession of vows was August 15, 1948.  She received her bachelor’s degree in education from Fontbonne College, St. Louis, in 1957.
Sister Marianne served at schools in Missouri, Wisconsin and Illinois.  In March of 1945, right after she made her first vows, she was sent to finish the school year teaching in a Primary classroom at St. Philip Neri, in St. Louis.  For the next fifteen years she continued to teach in schools in St. Louis beginning in the fall of 1945 when she was assigned to Holy Rosary. Leaving Holy Rosary in 1952 she moved to St. Leo/St. Teresa, and in 1959 went to Our Lady of Presentation where she taught intermediate grades for the first time.  
Remaining one more year in Missouri, Sister Marianne taught Primary at Immaculate Conception in St. Joseph, Missouri (1960).  Then she was able to return to her home state. Her last years as a Primary teacher were spent at St. Joseph Indian School in Keshena, 1961-1965.  The rest of her years in education were spent teaching Intermediate grades.  She taught at St. John in Green Bay, 1965-1970; and at St. Joseph in West De Pere, 1970-1974. Returning to Missouri Sister Marianne taught at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Kansas City (1974-1986).  St. Viator in Chicago, Illinois was home for her last thirteen years in the classroom (1986-1999).
Sister Marianne retired to Nazareth Living Center in 1999.  In addition to her ministry of prayer and presence, Sister continued to respond to her call to share laughter with everyone who happened to cross her path.  Her daily jokes will be greatly missed.  At her funeral, family and friends recalled how she impressed them as a woman filled with faith, humor and love – a humble and appreciative woman.  It was also shared that S. Marianne felt blessed to be at Nazareth and delighted to entertain visitors -- as well as anyone else she met.  One of her nieces remembered how she always had a joke (even at home!) and that she often expressed how good God had been to her.  Sister Mary Margaret Lazio remarked, “For me from the testimonies that I have heard this morning, Marianne has shown us an inspiring example of what it means to be in relationship with self, the dear neighbor, and with God.”  She prayed that Marianne’s example would inspire us to do the same.
Helen Oates, CSJ
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