Remembrances

Sister Mary Monica Hoefer, Age 87

West Midwest

Friday, October 9, 2020

Sister Mary Monica entered the Sisters of Mercy in Detroit in September 1952, joining her older sister, Anna Jane, who came four years earlier and was now known as Sister Mary Gabrielle.

Sister Monica’s first assignment as a teacher was to St. John High School in Independence, Iowa. Her students dearly loved her, and one wrote, “She was a gem, and we loved her as a teacher and as a [joyful] human being.”

Other teaching assignments took Sister Monica to high schools in Cheboygan, Grand Rapids, Farmington Hills and Bay City, Michigan. During those years, she completed a master’s degree in business education at the University of Detroit. This prepared her for her next position as the registrar at Mercy College of Detroit, where she served from 1971 to 1980. She then left the educational ministry to serve as an administrative assistant at Mercy Hospital, Dubuque, Iowa.

Sister Monica was a valued member of the hospital staff for the next 25 years and enjoyed this change. Living in Dubuque allowed her to help her aging mother and her two visually impaired sisters, Lillian and Verna. Sister Gabrielle joined the pastoral care staff at Mercy Hospital in 1987 and provided additional family support. Sister Monica officially retired in 2005 but stayed on as a volunteer for several years.

Sisters recall her steadfast and willing spirit along with her joyful participation in community celebrations. She was often the first one up for dancing, and her ability to remember and recite poetry and popular music of her time was remarkable.

Sister Gabrielle died on July 12, 2020, and Sister Monica’s death completed the Hoefer family’s entrance to eternal life. She is survived by many friends and her loving community.

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