Skip to content

Return to all Obituaries

Sister Judith (John Marie) Dewell, BVM

Sister Judith (John Marie) Dewell, BVM, 81, of Mount Carmel Bluffs Terrace Apartments, 1040 Carmel Drive, Dubuque, Iowa, died Sept. 17, 2023, at MercyOne Dubuque Medical Center in Dubuque, Iowa.

Visitation, the Sharing of Memories and Mass of Christian Burial were held Sept. 22, 2023, in the Mary Frances Clarke Chapel at Mount Carmel Bluffs.

Sister Judith was an adjunct instructor at Clarke University, Dubuque, Iowa; a high school music teacher in Des Moines, Iowa; a music instructor at Mundelein College, Chicago; and an associate professor of music at Loyola University, Chicago. She served the BVM congregation as a volunteer in the business offices and as assistant curator and curator.

She was born Aug. 29, 1942, in Clinton, Iowa, to John Albert and Mary Catherine (Dyer) Dewell. She entered the BVM congregation July 31, 1960, from St. Irenaeus Parish, Clinton, Iowa. She professed first vows on Feb. 2, 1963, and final vows on Feb. 2, 1968.

“’I like working with [college age] students,’ commented Judith. ‘They are so full of potential and can make exciting leaps. . . I love trying to figure out how students think, how they make sense of it.’ Judith noticed that many students relieved their stress by learning to play an instrument. She recalled the day when a student burst into her studio just after taking a tough exam and announced, ‘I have to play the piano!’ ‘It’s through music that students gain self-confidence and begin to claim their personal gifts,’ commented Judith.” (Eulogy).

She was preceded in death by her parents, a brother Michael Dewell, and sister-in-law Barbara Dewell. She is survived by a brother Robert Dewell, Goodyear, Ariz.; a sister Catherine “Cathy” Dewell, Dubuque, Iowa; a nephew Patrick (Stacy) Dewell, Goodyear, Ariz.; and the Sisters of Charity, BVM, with whom she shared life for 63 years.

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

Watch Memorial Mass and Sharing of Memories

Download Eulogy

Download Sharing of Memories

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. I met Judith when some of my family attended my Aunt Bernadette McManigal’s diamond jubilee, and several times after that when we would visit. The last time was over Labor Day weekend. Judith was a delight to be with and was a dear companion to my aunt. I know she will be missed. She and all the sisters and staff are in my prayers.

  2. Judith was a hoot. Always full of energy. Some of our best pranks at Mundelein had her as an accomplice. She would always take extra time with any student who just wanted to chat. She can now be back with Eliza, her good friend. I hope they are making great music up in heaven.

Share a Memory

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top