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Sister Mary Jo (Martin Mary) Keane, BVM

Sister Mary Jo (Martin Mary) Keane, BVM died at MercyOne Dubuque Medical Center on Friday, April 28, 2023.

Visitation, the Sharing of Memories and Mass of Christian Burial were on May 5, 2023. Burial was in the Mount Carmel cemetery. 

Sister Mary Jo was born Sept. 6, 1934, in Chicago to Martin and Catherine (Rowland Keane. She entered the BVM congregation Aug. 2, 1959, from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Chicago. She professed first vows on Feb. 2, 1962, and final vows on July 16, 1967.

Sister Mary Jo was a secondary teacher at The Immaculata, Mount Carmel HS, and the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Chicago; Xavier HS in St. Louis; and Bellarmine-Jefferson in Burbank, Calif.  She ministered as a social worker in the Chicago Public Schools. She served the congregation as office staff in Dubuque, Iowa, and office manager in Los Gatos, Calif.

“Near and dear to her heart was the time she spent as a reader at Misericordia, a care community for persons with mild to profound developmental disabilities. She soon discovered that the residents could “speak” with their eyes. ‘Some have extremely happy personalities. . . I feel a joy and spirituality in each of [them]. . . There is a glint in their eyes some days that I could not mistake for anything but the presence of God.’ She found deep fulfillment in her ministry at Misericordia.” (Eulogy).

She was preceded in death by her parents, stepfather Thomas Hoban, sister Patricia (Harold “Bing”) Carlson, and brother-in-law George Wendell. She is survived by a sister Catherine “Kay” Wendell, Scottsdale, Ariz.; nieces; nephews; 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 6 Comments
  1. My first encounter with Sister Mary Jo was at Xavier High School in St. Louis in the early seventies.
    Over the years, I have had occasion to see her at Chicago donor events and as a fellow alum at Immaculata luncheons. Sorry she got to enjoy her new home for such a short time.
    Rest In Peace Sister.

  2. Sweet Mary Jo, thank you for all the wonderful laughs, family get together and the joy you brought us all with your sense of humor! May God guide your journey into eternal peace and salvation! Rest in Peace. You will be missed 🙏🏻
    All my/our Love,
    Kathleen and Jim Lynch

  3. Mary Jo was a very independent and adventurous woman, and a lifelong learner. Mary Jo enjoyed being a teacher and touched the lives of many students. Many of her students became lifelong friends.
    Mary Jo was “the glue” that kept the Keane and Kane families together. I will dearly miss my cousin. May her memory be a blessing.

  4. Sr. Mary Jo was one of the great teachers and storytellers in our family. I was honored to get to know her and to read her responses to my own writings on a weekly basis. She helped keep us Keanes/Kanes connected across the Atlantic and firmly rooted to our origins in Newport, Co. Mayo. I’m glad I got to visit with her one last time in December after only emailing and talking over the phone through the pandemic years. She will be missed by all of us. Her memory will certainly live on in our stories.

  5. My name is Martin James Keane. My father, Patrick, named me after Mary Jo’s father. My
    wife Ellen and I have spent countless hours with Mary Jo sharing thoughts and experiences,
    always learning from Mary Jo’s insight.

  6. Mary Jo was a classmate from Immaculata HS. Several of us were getting together at Misericordia for lunch before Covid and always had many laughs and memories that we shared from the “old days”, and she was always a hoot to be with! With her volunteering at Misericordia so much, we always got special treatment! Preparing to move to MC was a big decision for her and she was happy extra- for the new arrangements, but was certainly going to miss her many friends, excursions, and extra-curricular activities in Chicago. Rest in Peace, dear Friend, you will be missed.

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