Cover photo for Sister Darlene Mary Siebeneck, S.N.D.'s Obituary
Sister Darlene Mary Siebeneck, S.N.D. Profile Photo

Sister Darlene Mary Siebeneck, S.N.D.

August 17, 1945 — January 31, 2021

Energetic, enthusiastic, ever smiling, Sister Darlene Mary Siebeneck strove to make God known and loved, especially to the many children she taught and the teachers she mentored. She aimed to lead each child to the fullness of his or her human and spiritual development. Sometimes called “darlin’” by co-workers, Sister was a “present of presence” to all until her death on January 31, 2021 at age 75 and in her 56th year of religious life.
Born on August 17, 1945 in Glandorf, Ohio to Richard and Lucille (Maag) Siebeneck, Darlene Mary was the second among five girls and two boys in a close-knit, strongly Catholic family. Darlene learned from her mother the art of pie baking and taking life “one step at a time.” She attended St. Michael School in Findlay and Notre Dame Academy in Toledo. She entered the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1963 and took the name Sister Mary Rosalyn, later changed to Sister Darlene Mary.
She attended Mary Manse College (Toledo) and Bowling Green State University specializing in Early Education. Sister was a lifelong learner, obtaining a degree in Montessori and ceaselessly researching the latest ideas and technology in early childhood education.
Sister’s teaching career began in 1966 and included 23 years in kindergarten and pre-school and 13 years in grades 1 and 2. Sister taught at St. Wendelin, Fostoria; St. Joseph, Maumee; St. Mary, Norwalk; St. Mary, Sandusky; Lial, Whitehouse; St. Mary, Muncie, Indiana; and St. Ann, St. James, St. Mary, Christ the King, and Ladyfield schools in Toledo.
Moving to Jacksonville, Florida in 2002, Sister served as Early Learning Director at Guardian Catholic School. Under her leadership, Guardian Catholic’s Early Learning Program has served as a model in promoting successful learning outcomes. Sister’s many local, state, and national awards attest to her commitment and effectiveness. She created high performing early learning programs in high poverty areas, carrying out the mission of social justice in the urban core. She was president of the Florida chapter of the NAEYC. In the autumn of 2020, health needs necessitated her return to Ohio. No matter what the year or place, “Sister’s mission in life to teach and nurture young children was always preeminent,” said Sister Susan Reineck.
Sister is preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by and will be greatly missed by her siblings Carol Ann (Siebeneck) Stepleton, Francis Siebeneck, Mary Jane (Siebeneck) Johnson, Joyce Ann (Siebeneck) Hermiller, Steven Siebeneck, and Cynthia (Siebeneck) Hill; many nieces and nephews; and her religious community.
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