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Sister Rose McNamee, BVM (Rose Angela)

Sister Rose McNamee, BVM (Rose Angela), 87, died June 1, 2014, at Marian Hall in Dubuque, Iowa. Visitation will be from 9–11 a.m. on Thursday, June 5, 2014, in the Marian Hall Chapel followed by a prayer service at 11 a.m. Funeral liturgy will be at 1:30 p.m. Burial is in the Mount Carmel cemetery.

She was born Dec. 14, 1926, to Charles J. and Loretta Hazel Emond McNamee. She entered the BVM congregation from Our Lady of Victory Parish, Chicago, on Sept. 8, 1947. She professed first vows on March 19, 1950, and final vows on Aug. 15, 1955.

Sister Rose was an elementary and secondary school teacher and principal in Antioch, Maywood and Chicago, Ill.; Hempstead and Bellerose, N.Y.; West Union and Sioux City, Iowa; and Wichita, Kan. She also did clerical work at Mundelein College in Chicago.

She was preceded in death by her parents and brother William. She is survived by a brother Rev. Msgr. Charles McNamee, Rockford, Ill.; a sister Loretta McNamee, Crystal Lake, Ill.; and  the Sisters of Charity, BVM, with whom she shared life for 66 years.

Sister Rose McNamee, BVM (Rose Angela)
Funeral Welcome
Marian Hall, June 5, 2014

Good afternoon and welcome to the celebration of life of our Sister Rose McNamee.

Rose McNamee entered this world on Dec. 14, 1926, the third of four children born to Charles J. McNamee and Loretta Hazel Emond of Chicago. Her father was of Irish descent and worked as an insurance broker. He died before Rose entered the community. Her mother was of French Canadian descent and had attended Presentation School in Chicago. Rose talked about her siblings during a 2008 interview. “I have a wonderful sister, Loretta . . . and a great brother, Monsignor Charles W. McNamee . . . who is retired from the Rockford Diocese. He joined that diocese because he wanted to work in smaller towns. The irony is that he ended up working for the marriage tribunal; he is a very intelligent man . . . My mother asked him what he wanted to name me. He said, ‘Rose’ and so I am!” Rose’s younger brother William died from pneumonia at the age of two months.

Rose attended The Immaculata High School where she was introduced to the BVMs. After graduation, she worked for one year and then attended Mundelein College for one year. She entered the congregation on Sept. 8, 1947, and received the name Rose Angela upon her reception on March 19, 1948. Stating her reason for entering religious life, she wrote, “That I might be used as an instrument in the hands of God for the salvation of souls.” She professed her first vows on March 19, 1950, and lived 66 years as a BVM.

Rose spent 38 years teaching in elementary schools in Antioch, Maywood and Chicago, Ill.; Hempstead and Bellerose, N.Y.; West Union and Sioux City, Iowa; and Wichita, Kan. She also taught English at The Immaculata for five years and was principal at Epiphany School in Sioux City for four years. Rose commented, “I loved to teach English, both literature and grammar.” And she was an excellent teacher with high expectations for her students and she always handled her own discipline. In addition to teaching, she served as treasurer at The Immaculata, did clerical work at Mundelein College, and during the summer of 1976 conducted a canvassing census of St. Beatrice Parish in Schiller Park, Ill., along with Sisters Etienne McDonald and Lucile Heimerl. She resided in Chicago after retiring in 2001 and moved to Mount Carmel in 2006.

Perhaps Rose’s life may best be summarized by the words of Mary Frances Clarke. “Go on steady and quiet.” Rose was a lovely, gentle, private woman who quietly enjoyed pursuing her interests. She was an avid reader and she had a great devotion to the Blessed Mother. She was observant and acted with kindness and concern when she saw someone in need of assistance. And Rose exuded gratitude. A comment made by an aide has been frequently repeated by other staff and sisters. “One thing I’ll always remember about Rose is that she always said, ‘Thank you.’”

Rose was deeply devoted to her brother and sister and enjoyed visiting and traveling with them. Even on her last day, love and concern for her brother was on her mind. After one of the nurses contacted Rose’s brother, she whispered into Rose’s ear that her brother was fine and was aware of her condition. Comforted by those words, Rose took a breath and peacefully passed on.

The prophet Isaiah wrote, “God indeed is my savior; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and my courage is the Lord, and he has been my savior.” In this knowledge Rose lived her life. We joyfully celebrate her earthy life and her entrance into eternal life.

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