Sister Kathleen (Bernardone) Spurlin, BVM, 98, of Mount Carmel Bluffs, 1160 Carmel Drive, Dubuque, Iowa, died Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023.
Funeral services were held on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023, in the Mary Frances Clarke Chapel at Mount Carmel Bluffs. Burial is in the Mount Carmel Cemetery. All services may be viewed through livestream at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/bvmsisters/.
She was born on May 3, 1925, in Nevis, Minn., to Fred and Lydia (Guderian) Spurlin. She entered the BVM congregation Sept. 8, 1946, from St. Mary Parish, Michigan City, Ind. She professed first vows on March 19, 1949, and final vows on Aug. 15, 1954.
Sister Kathleen was an elementary teacher in San Francisco; Kauai, Hawaii; Butte and Missoula, Mont.; Phoenix; Clarksdale, Miss., and Houston, where she also served as a secondary teacher and a university campus minister. She ministered as a chaplain at correctional institutions in Clarksdale and Leakesville, Miss., and volunteered as a hospice chaplain in Hattiesburg, Miss.
“An inmate shared, ‘Sister Kathleen Spurlin is . . . warm, loving, caring, concerned, compassionate, understanding, sympathetic, kind, merciful, patient. [She] wants to help, [is] motivated by God’s love, perceives human suffering and needs, injustice, mistreatment, racial discrimination, and helps provide for the spiritual well-being of inmates. . . She serves . . . as the ears, eyes, and . . . voices of inmates . . . in a spirit of Christian gentleness and integrity. Inmates revere her as a special representative of God among them.’” (Eulogy).
She was preceded in death by her parents; sisters Betty Lou Echman, Marvis Jean (Don) Buss, Haroldeen Rudquist Fields, Mathilda Ann (Bill) Hudson, Estella Jenson, Arlene Jenson, and Darlene Jenson; brothers Ronald Spurlin and Fred Spurlin; and brother-in-law John Storey. She is survived by a sister, Lurlyn Storey, and a brother, Jerry (Jeanne) Jenson; nieces; nephews; and the Sisters of Charity, BVM, with whom she shared life for 76 years.
Memorials may be given to Sisters of Charity, BVM, 1100 Carmel Drive, Dubuque, IA 52003 or online at https://www.bvmsisters.org/support_donate.cfm.Watch Memorial Mass and Sharing of Memories
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