Cover photo for Sister Mary Mara Bennett, Snd's Obituary
Sister Mary Mara Bennett, Snd Profile Photo

Sister Mary Mara Bennett, Snd

September 2, 1938 — April 12, 2021

Two days before her death on April 12, 2021, Sister Mary Mara Bennett, born Joyce Phyllis Bennett, requested that few sisters keep vigil. “I want to be at peace, just Jesus and me,” she said. Throughout her life, she desired deeper intimacy with God. Thus, her life journey and her destination were one--ever directed toward her daily and final self-surrender to God.

She was born on September 2, 1938, in Toledo, Ohio to her parents Harold and Sophia (Jakubowski) Bennett from whom she developed her love of everything Polish. She attended St. Hyacinth School and Notre Dame Academy, where she received the Bishop’s Gold Cross and won the “I Speak for Freedom” speech. She began her novitiate with the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1957. After a degree in education from Mary Manse College, Toledo, Sister received a Master of Education/Administration from Bowling Green State University.

Sister taught elementary school 44 years and was a principal six years. In Ohio she taught at St. Ann, Gesu, and St. James (Toledo); St. Mary, Sandusky; Immaculate Conception, Bellevue; Immaculate Conception, Marygrove; St. Wendelin, Fostoria; and St. Mary, Norwalk. Thirty years in education were spent in Indiana: Carmel, Muncie, and Fort Wayne, along with one year in Wheaton, Illinois. Sister was an excellent teacher of grades 6-8, especially in writing. Students later in life would thank her for their composition skills. In addition to her effective teaching techniques, Sister was very kind. A former sixth grader from Bellevue said the students were thrilled to discover Sister would teach them again in grade seven.

In 2005 she became a para-professional at Lial Catholic School in Whitehouse. Leaving the classroom, Sister used her gentle voice and interest in others to assist in the Partnership for Mission Office of the Sisters of Notre Dame, where she kept up with benefactors and their prayer requests. In her free time Sister enjoyed a variety of crafts. In 2019 Sister moved to the Ursuline Center.

She is preceded in death by her parents. Sister is survived by six first cousins: Sandra Kunovic, Shirley Godfrey, Sharlene Toth, Janet Simon Carrico, Cynthia Holt, and Michael Pence who will miss her sparkling eyes and cordial demeanor.

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