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Sister Mary (Eugenne) McElmeel, BVM

Sister Mary (Eugenne) McElmeel, BVM, 99, of Mount Carmel Bluffs, 1160 Carmel Drive, Dubuque, Iowa, died Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023. 

Visitation and Rite of Committal for Natural Burial were on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023. Burial was in the Mount Carmel Cemetery. Sharing of Memories and a Memorial Mass were on Monday, Oct. 30, 2023. Burial was in the Mount Carmel cemetery. All services are available at:

Sister Mary was born on Aug. 18, 1924, in Delhi, Iowa, to Peter and Cathryne (Byrne) McElmeel. She entered the BVM congregation Sept. 8, 1944, from St. Mary Parish, Manchester, Iowa. She professed first vows on March 19, 1947, and final vows on Aug. 15, 1952.

Sister Mary was a pastoral associate at the Cathedral of St. Raphael and a teacher at St. Anthony, both in Dubuque, Iowa. She was a teacher at St. Jude, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and St. Paul, Davenport, Iowa, where she also served as principal. In addition, she taught at Holy Family and Our Lady of the Angels in Chicago; St. Philip in San Francisco; Incarnation in Glendale, Calif.; and St. Bridget and Cardinal Spellman in Omaha, Neb. She volunteered in Hispanic ministry in Kankakee County, Ill. She served the congregation as assistant novice mistress and as assistant administrator and administrator of the Motherhouse.

“Mary wrote, ‘As I look over the years, I have been doubly blessed by the Lord with the faith of my Irish parents, with a vocation to the religious life, with a desire to promote the growth of God’s kingdom on earth, with good health, with a sense of humor, and with many friends.’ In conversation, [she] commented, ‘It’s been a good ride; I’ve had a great time.’” (Eulogy).

She was preceded in death by her parents; sisters Irene (Wayne) Millburn and Beatrice (Ken) Jenkins; brothers Raymond McElmeel, Elmer (Vi) McElmeel, and James McElmeel. She is survived by a sister-in-law Elsie McElmeel, Waterloo, Iowa; nieces; nephews; and the Sisters of Charity, BVM, with whom she shared life for 79 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

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This Post Has One Comment
  1. Mary and I taught together at Cardinal Spellman, 5th and 6th graders. She taught math and I had them for science. Mary was a great mentor and friend! We had a fun visit at Mount Carmel a few years ago with my husband and son. I had hoped to visit again last summer but it didn’t work out. I will miss her. Know that she is no longer suffering.

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