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Sister Suzanne (Carmelita) Stopper, BVM

Sister Suzanne (Carmelita) Stopper, BVM died at Mount Carmel Bluffs in Dubuque, Iowa, on Tuesday, May 7, 2024.

Funeral services will be Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in the Mary Frances Clarke Chapel at Mount Carmel Bluffs. All services may be viewed on demand at:

Sister Suzanne was born on Feb. 13, 1927, in Detroit to George and Pearl (Bertin) Stopper. She entered the BVM congregation Sept. 8, 1946, from Holy Family Parish, Glendale, Calif. She professed first vows on March 19, 1949, and final vows on Aug. 15, 1954.

Sister Suzanne ministered as a secondary English teacher at Holy Family HS in Glendale, Calif; Bishop Garcia Diego HS in Santa Barbara, Calif.; and Bellarmine-Jefferson HS in Burbank, Calif. She was an elementary teacher at Annunciation in Chicago; Annunciation in Kansas City, Mo.; and St. Matthew in Phoenix. She also was a school office volunteer in Glendale, Calif.

St. Paul wrote, “Dedicate yourselves to thankfulness. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3: 15-17) Suzanne shared, “I am deeply grateful for the countless blessings God bestowed on me from birth to death through my family, the Church, my BVM vocation, my friends . . . and especially through my years as a BVM teacher.” (Eulogy).

She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers John “Jack” (Tomalu) Stopper, Brother Edward “Ed” Stopper, FSC, and William “Bill” Stopper; and sister Elizabeth “Betsy” Gower. She is survived by her sister, Sister Mary Jeanne Stopper, BVM, sister-in-law Letty Stopper, and brother-in-law Chuck Gower, nieces, nephews, and the Sisters of Charity, BVM, with whom she shared life for 77 years.

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

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This Post Has 12 Comments
  1. I am so saddened to hear of her passing. She was my favorite teacher at Holy Family High School. She taught me to love to read and write. I enjoyed every single book she recommended and have continued to read all these years later. She was such a vibrant force in and out of the classroom. I know she will be missed greatly. Rest in peace

  2. Thank you for being a wonderful and memorable teacher at Holy Family High School in Glendale, CA. I loved your outfits seeing that you didn’t have to wear a habit for your order. RIP Sister Suzanne.

  3. Sister Suzanne (Carmelita) was wonderful , caring, and always there for us to communicate.
    Rest in Peace 🙏🫶🙏
    Class of 65

  4. May she rest peacefully. She was a wonderful woman very intelligent she was the best teacher I ever had. She made a difference in this world. God Bless Her ❤️

  5. Rest in peace Sister Suzanne 🙏
    You were a wonderful teacher. My favorite teacher. You had a kind heart and I loved English because of you . 🙏🩷🕊️

  6. Sister Suzanne’s wit and wisdom was a true blessing. Sharing a Christmas Morning with her after Emmalee lectured the 6:30 am Mass is a treasured moment for me. Thanks to her for helping me learn the groundwork to teaching is more than the textbook. Your life touched mine and Emmalee’s which in turn helped us shine your spirit upon others.

  7. This is such sad news! Sister Suzanne and the other BVMs used to babysit me. I remember that Sister Suzanne loved films and she once told me that it was her one indulgence in life, and that it was okay to have something you treasured like that. She would walk to the local theaters, and I thought she was so cool for that.
    She and her sister, Sister Mary Jeanne used to teach me all kinds of card games. One night I got to stay for dinner with them (I was so excited!) and they taught me how to play poker with corn chips. Sister Suzanne always made me feel welcomed and safe, and made religion seem like a part of everyday life, not just something to have on a Sunday. I’ll miss her dearly, and I’ll carry her stories and her memory with me in my heart for the rest of my life.

  8. Sister Suzanne was such a gifted teacher. She instilled in me a love for language, writing, and literature. In great measure, she is the reason I eventually became a teacher. Her smile was contagious, her wit, endearing, and her kindness, extraordinary.

    Dear Sister,
    May you rest in the eternal, joyful peace you so deserve. ♥️

  9. I couldn’t have had a more wonderful yearbook moderator from 1970-73. She was the perfect combination of guidance, teacher, and fun. She loved our antics to a point! May she rest peacefully in the arms of our Lord!

  10. Sr. Suzanne was one of my mentors, along with Sr. Maureen Maloney, during my three years on the RESPONSE Yearbook Staff. Every Friday afternoon for many months we descended into the YR Room down in the basement to work on layouts and photography. We enjoyed a weekend retreat in Oceanside. In the summer we went to USD for Yearbook Workshops.
    We became a close-knit family who celebrated relationships and our creativity. It was a wonderful respite from my family’s struggles when my dad was enduring his strike at the Herald Examiner. Sisters Suzanne and Maureen became our big sisters who supported us and became our friends. I will always treasure those special memories that shaped my creativity with loving care.

  11. Sister Suzanne was my inspiration in becoming a teacher. She was my English Literature teacher as well as Greek Mythology teacher where she used many strategies to keep her students engaged. From her acting out the parts of “The Miracle worker”, to dressing as Medusa when reading our texts.
    One could tell that Sr. Suzanne loved teaching…and we all loved her so.

  12. Dearest Sue –
    Thank you for all the wonderful memories we shared over the years. Spending time with you, Mary Jeanne, and the entire family every Sunday at the Woodbury Roadhouse, playing Kings in the Corner and Gaigel together, sitting on the couch and talking, decorating for the holidays together. I have so many wonderful memories growing up as a kid, and you were and will always be such an important part of those memories, and the person I am today. Thank you for all the laughs, care, wisdom, and love. I love you Sue and will miss you dearly.

    Love Always,

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