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Sister Joan M. (John Annette) Opatts, BVM

Sister Joan M. (John Annette) Opatts, BVM, 87, of Mount Carmel Bluffs, 1160 Carmel Dr., Dubuque, Iowa, died Monday, Dec. 19, 2022.

Visitation will be from 9–9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in the Mary Frances Clarke Chapel at Mount Carmel Bluffs. Sharing of Memories will be at 9:30 a.m. followed immediately by the Mass of Christian Burial. Burial is in the Mount Carmel Cemetery.

Sister Joan was born Sept. 23, 1935, in Chicago to John and Anne (Krzewinski) Opatts. She entered the BVM congregation on Sept. 8, 1953, from St. Richard parish, Chicago. She professed first vows on March 19, 1956, and final vows on July 16, 1961.

Sister Joan was an elementary teacher at St. Anthony in Dubuque, Iowa; St. Paul in Davenport, Iowa; Blessed Sacrament and St. Eugene in Chicago, St. Joseph in Rock Island, Ill.; and Mary Queen of Heaven in Cicero, Ill. She also ministered as an adult tutor and trainer at the St. Jude Literacy Center in Montgomery, Ala.

“Where can words be found to describe Joan? Perhaps among St. Paul’s reflection on love. (I Cor 13:4-6). To rephrase, Joan is patient, Joan is kind. She is not jealous, she is not pompous, she is not inflated, she is not rude, she does not seek her own interests, she is not quick-tempered, she does not brood over injury, she does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.” (Eulogy).

She was preceded in death by her parents, her twin sister Anne (Fred) Kroll, and a brother John (Lorraine) Opatts. She is survived by a brother Bob (Marylynne) Cedar, Naples, Fla., nieces, nephews, cousins, and the Sisters of Charity, BVM, with whom she shared life for 69 years.

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

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This Post Has One Comment
  1. In our lives we make many friends, especially when we are children. Well, it seems that for me I met
    Sister Joan when we each worked at St. Anthony’s School many years ago. Over the years, we were
    more like sisters than just friends. Being together, going places to shop, or having lunch were some
    special times in our lives. Now there will be a part of my life missing, yet I will always have
    so many wonderful memories of her. Love, happiness, fun, and even some sad times will
    always be in my heart as memories of our friendship over the years.

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