Cover photo for Sister Mary Doretta Peter, S.N.D.'s Obituary
Sister Mary Doretta Peter, S.N.D. Profile Photo

Sister Mary Doretta Peter, S.N.D.

April 2, 1949 — January 10, 2021

Humble and reserved, attentive to others’ needs, hard-working and ever attuned to God’s will, Sister Mary Doretta Peter allowed God to direct her life. Led by God, Sister was able to lead others to God, especially little children and students with learning disabilities until her death on January 10, 2021.

Born on April 2, 1949, in Toledo to Richard and Dorothy (Decker) Peter, Philena was the younger child in the small family of two children. Philena’s early life was influenced by the Sisters of Notre Dame, as she attended Ladyfield Elementary School, Notre Dame Academy, and Notre Dame College of Ohio (Cleveland). Sister also attended Bowling Green State University, where she earned a master’s degree in Special Education. Philena entered the Sisters of Notre Dame and in 1968 received the name of Sister Mary Doretta.

In 1973 Sister began teaching at Mary Immaculate School in Toledo. In 1979 Sister spent a few years teaching first grade at St. Paul School, Norwalk; Sacred Heart School, Fremont; St. Joseph School, Maumee; and Gesu School and Christ the King School in Toledo. Sister returned to her first love and teaching specialty at Mary Immaculate School where she taught another 25 years. Many parents and former students have attested that “You could always rely on Sister Doretta” and “Everyone knew by her words and actions that Sister cared very deeply about the well-being of the students.” Truly gifted in helping special needs children with her creative methods, Sister shared her knowledge by serving on the Autism Academy School Board for nine years.

When Sister’s health began to decline, requiring several surgeries and the use of a walker, she continued using her gifts as a classroom aide at Rosary Cathedral School and tutor at Mareda Center and Pius X School until March of 2020.

She is preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her brother Philip (Roberta) Peter and their son. She will be greatly missed by her family, religious community, and friends. Private services will be on Thursday, January 14 at Urbanski Funeral Home, A Life Celebration Home, 5055 Secor Road, Toledo. Tributes may be made to the Sisters of Notre Dame at 3912 Sunforest Court, Toledo.
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