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Sister Eileen E. Fuchs, BVM

Sister Eileen E. Fuchs, BVM died Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, at Mercy One Medical Center in Dubuque, Iowa. She was 61.

Sharing of Memories, Virtual Visitation, and funeral services were Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020. Burial is in Mount Carmel Cemetery.

Sister Eileen was born July 31, 1959, in St. Louis to William and Eileen (Hannifin) Fuchs. She entered the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary congregation Aug. 27, 1995, from St. Elizabeth Parish, St. Louis. She professed first vows on July 18, 1998, and final vows on July 16, 2005.

Sister Eileen served the BVM congregation as a congregational representative and ministered as a science teacher at Nerinx Hall High School in Webster Groves, Mo. She worked as a medical technologist at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center in St. Louis prior to entering the BVM community.

She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Dan Fuchs, and sister Betsy Demny. She is survived by a brother Bill (Chris) Fuchs, Boca Raton, Fla.; sisters Terry (Jack) McGauley, St. Louis, and Cece Seida, Ballwin, Mo.; many devoted nieces and nephews; and the Sisters of Charity, BVM, with whom she shared life for 25 years.

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

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This Post Has 27 Comments
  1. I worked with Eileen at Nerinx Hall for about 15 years. What a big heart and big laugh! I heard from her on St. Dominic’s feast day(August 8). She had a special love for the Sparkill Dominicans, starting at Little Flower School. She expressed concern how we were doing during the pandemic. A very special person. How blessed am I to know her! Thanks, Eileen.

  2. I just heard about this tragic news. I met Eileen in 2016 while she was here in Michigan. We became fast friends. She meant the world to me. I am so sorry for the loss to the BVM community. She had such insight into spirituality-she taught me more about God’s love than my 12 years of Catholic education and 53 years of life before meeting her. I will miss her so very much. Condolences to her family and her family of sisters and students she touched throughout her shortened life.

    1. Beth – you were such a support to Eily in a very difficult period of her life. Thank you for being such a good friend. I’m so happy we were able to meet on our trip to Michigan. Will always keep you in my prayers.
      Terry McGauley
      Eily’s sister

  3. What a loss of a wonderful person and friend. Sympathy to Lou and the BVM order. The world is a little less for her passing.

    1. I feel lucky to have known Sr Ei, and her warm heart. Intelligent , fierce, funny and kind. I’m so sad we are without her but will remember her always.

  4. Eileen was one of the good ones: she loved her students, her colleagues, the Cardinals, her faith, and her struggles— her personal demons which she humbly shared with those who cared, and the fight for social justice in all it’s aspects within a Gospel context. I remember riding with her to senior retreat her first year and asking about her plans. She said she thought she’d stay at Nerinx 3 years and then move on because “teaching wasn’t really her thing.” Well she stayed for 15 years and was, for me and many others, the consummate teacher—loving her students, working tirelessly and selflessly, and always (well mostly) having a whole bunch of fun! On many days when I was dragging she was an inspiration for me when I’d hear that clarion voice above the clamor: “GIRLS, IT’S TIME TO GET TO CLASS!” I knew it was time for me to get it in gear, too. Thanks, Eileen.

  5. Sr. Eileen was my mentor when I began working as a College Counselor at Nerinx Hall. She patiently addressed all my questions and helped me navigate the school. She worked tirelessly as a teacher and senior moderator. I learned the hard way not to sit next to her at sporting events for the school if I wanted my eardrum to not ring for days! She truly cheered from the bottom of her soul. My heart goes out to her family, Lou, and the BVM order. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. How do we solve a “problem” like Eileen?! (Sound of Music)
    What a woman, what a dear friend to so many. What a beautiful life and so completely authentic. Such a clear-headed, social justice advocate. I spent many a free period at Nerinx Hall with Eileen musing about the social situations in our country, in our church, in our communities. I could always count on complete frankness and valuable insights. She could clear up any fuzziness on just about anything. And she was so incredibly FUN! Never a down day with Eileen. Even when she struggled with physical loss. She knew how to put a positive spin on it all.
    We’ll miss you Eileen. Remember us. Say hello to Kevin B. for all the faculty and former faculty of Nerinx.

  7. This is such a loss. I have known Eileen for many years. She was a great tennis partner. We had so much fun together in our tennis years. Loved spending Halloween with her-she had such joy in it. She always laughed about how she got to go on a honeymoon (she joined me and some other friends on my honeymoon – it was a great trip). She was a wonderful travel companion and a loyal friend through many many years. My condolences to her family and her community.

  8. Thank you Eileen for dedicating your life to Christ and to our School! Your love and laughter will never be forgotten! I appreciate your kindness in school and being a great 77 classmate.
    “Thank Heaven for ‘77”! May god comfort your family through this time.

  9. The news of Eileen’s passing was shocking and heartbreaking, but I know she can now smile and laugh again. When I was employed in the office at Nerinx Hall, we looked forward to when she would come in to ‘visit’ with us. We called her “Pearl” – long story. Eileen was also a fellow alum of Nerinx. She, Lou, and Audrey lived up the street from my husband and I for a period of time, and Betsy was a fellow parishioner, too. Now we have a new Saint in Heaven to whom we can pray – please watch out for us, “Pearl.” My heart goes out to Lou, the Fuchs family and her BVM Sisters. The love continues…..

  10. There are so many memories of Sr. Eileen that when I think of how lucky I was tears come to my eyes. I knew that if I was going to get in trouble she would be right next to me giving me a high five. When she left Nerinx I new I was going to miss my friend yet I knew this was the best thing for her. I remember her calling to tell me of the drum she made at a retreat and I could see here smiling face, so proud and kind. I will keep her family and friends in my prayers. Love You OB

  11. I grew up to next door to Eily–that’s what we called her!–and her family, including sister Cece, who was just a year older than me and a few years younger than Eily. These reflections evoke childhood and teenage memories of her kindness, her sweet smile, and her interest in what I was up to. I recall especially talking with her about my sports activities at Rosati-Kain High School when I was older. The Cards, too! Chatting on their long front porch or the stairs above the sidewalks: those are wonderful memories. She had that sweet smile and laugh, and her wisdom stood out even then. Thank you for gifting my life and this world. I feel blessed and humbled that your kindness is touching me again, as you go to the Lord. My condolences to Cece, Terry and Bill and all her family and BVM sisters. RIP Eily.

  12. Eileen and I met at Nerinx Hall during the 2000-01 school year. I was returning to the science department after a long hiatus, Eileen had begun in science 6 months prior and we hit it off immediately. I have 3 sisters spread around the country and Eileen became my sister in town. She was a jack-of-all trades for the science department teaching biology, geology, astronomy, anthropology and was recruited to pioneer the Physics First program with Julie Sutfin. Physics was not her first love, but she did love teaching freshmen and getting them excited about science. She was also instrumental in helping to create the WTTA, the Water Treatment and Transportation Apparatus that the entire science department was involved in competing for the INVENTEAMS award. Eileen carried on that work. long after most of us moved on, driving to a friend’s farm to haul manure home to make the apparatus.
    I felt honored when Eileen asked me to accompany her to get her head shaved as she was fighting breast cancer, and when we got back to school, the entire student body was wearing hats in support.
    When Eileen decided it was time to leave Nerinx to take a more active role in her community, she felt badly leaving me behind at such a critical time. But she was in town when Kevin passed and she rushed to school as soon as she heard the news to comfort me.
    I am heartbroken that I have lost such a dear friend and a science geek. She was the soul of our science department, keeping all of us in line, especially Kevin’s irreverent nature. We were also Harry Potter geeks, discussing and analyzing the stories again and again. I will miss her dearly, but I will remember her every time I look up at the starry night sky and see her twinkling back at me.

  13. Please accept my sympathy at Eileen’s death. She was a strong woman whose insights and common sense approach to life was a blessing to anyone who knew her. Her car has been parked next to mine in the Applewood garage since she moved in. We often caught up on life standing by our cars and I always enjoyed seeing her there. Now I give her car a love tap as I walk by sending her loving wishes in her new heavenly home.

  14. What a beautiful young woman, in a great class about 50 years ago in Little Flower, remains in my mind as a blessed memory. My prayers and love go out to all the sisters and Eileen family.

  15. I came to know of Eily through her sister, Cece . At lunch one day she mentioned her sister was in the convent and had looked at orders until she found the most progressive one for her. I said she’s a BVM! They were very close and Cece knew she was really happy. I did meet Eileen at a big 175 anniversary of the founding of the BVMs at the College Church with Xavier alum. It was staffed by the BVMs. She was a delightful soul. And I enjoyed many stories from Cece. I am deeply saddened to learn of Eileen’s passing, and I know her loss is great for her family and the BVMs, as well. God has received a very special soul…

  16. I came to know of Eily when her sister,Cece and I taught at St Alban Roe. She mentioned one time that her sister was in the convent and had searched for the most progressive order she could find. I said ,she’s a BVM! They were very close and she knew Eily was really happy. I did get to meet Eileen a few times and she was so dear. She always made everyone feel so at ease in her presence and her students loved her, too. I’m deeply saddened for your loss, Cece, and your family as well. And of course for the BVMs, too. God has received a very special soul….

  17. Sr. Eileen was senior moderator for E2 and I was her buddy for several years at Nerinx. I so loved her spirit and special care for our seniors. Eileen was always so supportive and fun. She participated fully in all the activities at Nerinx and shared her humor and warmth with all of us. I remember so many fun times with her– and serious ones too. Her bravery over her cancer and treatments was inspiring. She supported my work in theatre and also helped me with a trivia night for Insight. ( in fact, she actually ran the whole thing for me. I was so thankful. ) I pray for her and her community of BVMs. and send special hopes and prayers to Sr. Lou, her dear friend.

  18. Sister Eileen was one of the best people I knew.
    She was very kind and supportive when I got sick.
    She would often come down to the cafe just to ask how I was.
    I will miss her immensely.

  19. My condolences to Cece, the Fuchs family, and the BVM Sisters. Eileen was a bridesmaid at my wedding back in ’81. She and I were friends from our days at Quincy College. We were in many of the same classes since we both went into Medical Technology. Comparative Anatomy, Organic Chemistry, Genetics..oh my! We certainly had plenty of study sessions and a few trips to the Tower of Pizza as a stress reliever. I will remember Eileen’s laughter and her generous spirit, sharing both her time and talents. I will miss my true and loyal friend.

  20. I shared an office with Eileen the entire time she was at Nerinx. Although I taught business and computer subjects I learned a lot of science from her and the other members of the office because they always had such interesting discussions. Eileen became an important friend to me. She was a great and empathetic listener. She was also good at picking up non-verbal expressions of needing help. Eileen always went above and beyond – she had no limits when it came to helping others. And she also was great at finding fun in everything. She was a blessing to me and to all who knew her.

  21. Sr. Eileen was very special to me. We met my senior year at Nerinx, her first year teaching there. Every morning I would get to school early since I was not part of a car pool. When Sr. Eileen arrived she would walk past me sitting at my locker and we always greeted each other with a big smile and wave – it was the perfect way to start my days at Nerinx. While we only had one year together at Nerinx, we remained close over the years. We’d meet for lunch and even stayed in touch through my moves around the country. We later found out that our families had a connection – my Mom was childhood friends with her cousin (gotta love St. Louis!). Just last September, Sr. Eileen and Sr. Lou drove down to attend my wedding. I felt incredibly blessed to have them there. Sr. Eileen, I miss you so much already and know you’re watching over us all. I can still hear your joyful voice and it makes me smile. Rest in peace, friend.

  22. Eily and I were cousins. We shared the same birthday and we frequently celebrated our mutual birthday together when we were growing up. Eily was a very special person and I was honored to have known her. I guess heaven needed another Hannefin angel and a referee for their poker games to make sure no one was cheating. Kisses and hugs to you, Twin. I will miss you.

  23. Sr. Eileen had a divine hand in how I came to find out she had transitioned. The constellation of who she was shines even brighter now. I first met Sr. Eileen while on Sr. Lou’s freshman b-ball team at Nerinx. I asked who is this woman who yells and cheers so loudly from the bleachers at an 8am freshman basketball game? In an essentially empty gymnasium. Then Sr. Eileen became a Teacher and then a Friend. I remember her high-5’s in the Nerinx hallways, her laugh and her relentless encouragement. She taught me a lot – more than intellect can describe – about spirituality and love. Thank you, Sr. Eileen. You are with us among the stars. Shine Bright! Sr. Lou, much love and take care.

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