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Sister Donard Collins, BVM

Donard Collins, BVM died at Marian Hall in Dubuque, Iowa, Monday, March 23, 2020.

A Funeral Rite of Committal was held Wednesday, March 25, 2020, at 1:30 p.m. in the Marian Hall Chapel. Burial is in the Mount Carmel Cemetery. Events may be viewed at

Sister Donard was born on Sept. 23, 1931, in Marcus, Iowa, to William and Anna Ryan Collins. She entered the BVM congregation Sept. 8, 1949, from Holy Name Parish, Marcus, Iowa. She professed first vows on March 19, 1952, and final vows on July 16, 1957.

Sister Donard ministered as a nurse at Marian Hall, Dubuque, and in Sioux City, Iowa. She also served the congregation as a member of the Motherhouse administrative team and as a Regional. She was an elementary teacher in Sioux City; Chicago; Memphis, Tenn.; Clarksdale, Miss.; and Seattle.

She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers Leonard, Donald, and James Collins; sisters Eileen Berger-Flanagan, Mary Barrett, Lillian Horacek, Viola Waggoner, and Lorraine West. She is survived by sisters Betty Seggerman and LaVonne Means; nieces and nephews; and the Sisters of Charity, BVM, with whom she shared life for 70 years.

Memorials may be given to Sisters of Charity, BVM Support Fund, 1100 Carmel Drive, Dubuque, IA 52003 or online at

Donard Collins eulogy

Sharing of Memories for Donard Collins BVM

This Post Has 16 Comments
  1. Sister Donard was a faithful communicator, writing frequently with news of happenings at Mount Carmel. She loved her community and shared lovingly about it. I will miss her beautiful letters and spirit.

  2. I have been friends with Sister Donard since 1966!
    We taught together at Blessed Sacrament School I Chicago. Sister taught first grade. I taught 6th – 8th Language Arts.
    Donard was so creative! She had use of two Rooms.
    When her students completed a lesson, off they would go to another classroom loaded with audiovisual equipment. These first graders knew how to set up filmstrips and even movies. This totally blew my mind!
    Another time Sister had to take a class to qualify for some document. We knew she should be teaching this class, not taking it.

    My favorite memory was when her family sent her an electric blanket.
    Our bedrooms were so cold.
    Sister shared the blanket so everyone got to use it every 2 weeks or so.
    I left the convent, but stayed friends throughout these many years.

    I thank God for her friendship and love!

  3. Aunt Chuck, you had such a kind, caring and non-judgmental heart. Thanks for your example of how to live a Christ like life. You were always so much fun to be around and will truly be missed!

  4. Sister Donard was such a blessing to everyone she knew. She was a shining example of Christian virtue, so kind and loving. However, she was not milk toast. She was bold when speaking up for social justice issues and for those without power or position. Aunt Chuck was a treasure on earth as she will be in heaven.

  5. One of the nicest people to ever walk the Earth. I’ll always remember her story of doing outreach in the sketchy areas of Kansas City back in the 70s/80s and “friendly” notes left on her car. The world’s going to miss you Chuck

  6. I have special memories of Donard when we would gather at Fort Benning GA every November to protest the
    School of the Americas. She was always so welcoming and it was such a delight to share that weekend of witness. I was honored to help carry the BVM banner with her one year. Rest well, dear Donard.

  7. Sr. Donard inspired & encouraged me to pursue a nursing career when we worked together at Marion Hall in the 1970’s. She was an awesome, gentle soul, and I will cherish her spirit forever. May she rest in perpetual peace.

  8. Sr Donard was such a kind and gentle person and blessed me with regular notes and letters as my prayer partner. I am grateful i was able to learn so much from her.

  9. Shirleen and I are thankful we got to see her at the sister home in September. We will miss her. She visited us in Michigan with Miles in early 70. Our kids thought it was neat to have a great aunt that was a nun.

  10. Shirleen and I are thankful we got to see her at the mother home in Sept. when we were traveling in Iowa. She will be missed by all.

  11. Aunt Charlie was a “fun nun” and taught us a lot about being happy with who you are! She’s the last of my 3 BVM aunts to pass away but will not be forgotten. She managed to share some easy card games with most of us at one time or another. We will miss her sweet and mischievous smile and quick wit. May she rest in peace.

  12. I will miss Sr. Donard very much. We taught together at Christ the King in Seattle, Washington. She taught 5th and I taught 1st. Our classrooms were across from each other. She was so kind and loving and full of the devil. We had a lot of fun and laughs together. I left the BVM Community but we stayed connected through calls and visits.
    A couple years ago we met up in Seattle and drove around Christ the King school and shared many happy memories. The last time I saw her, but we continued to talk by phone.
    May you rest in His Peace.

  13. Sister Donard was my third grade teacher at St Eugene in Chicago (her first class). She kept in touch all these years. I was the only non Catholic in school. She made me special and kept in touch all these years ;always saying she would “get me” (convert). When I married a lovely Italian girl she thought she had me. If not me she “got” my 3 boys. I loved that woman and respected her greatly. A clear positive influence in my life as a teacher and school administrator years later. She remains in my heart forever.

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