Whether teaching children, scoring a bargain at the dollar store, enjoying gelato in Italy, visiting with family and friends, engaging in Word Search puzzles, or offering her daily prayers, Sister Margaret Whittaker delighted in life and in the people and events that filled hers. The jovial and fun-loving woman of faith died December 28 at Regina Health Center in Richfield, where she had been a resident nearly three years. Sister Margaret was 89.
Margaret Whittaker was born December 6, 1927, the youngest of three children born to Albert and Loretta (Shields) Whittaker. She attended St. Timothy School and Ursuline Academy of the Sacred Heart. After graduating she attended night school at John Carroll University. On September 8, 1948 she joined the Ursuline Sisters, following in the footsteps of her older sister, Sister Marie de Lourdes. Sister Margaret professed final vows in 1954. She earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in education from Saint John College.
In 1950 Sister Margaret launched her 40-year career in education with her first teaching assignment at Holy Cross School, Euclid, followed by 20 additional years teaching at St. Timothy, Garfield Heights; St. Charles Borromeo, Parma; St. Therese, Garfield Heights, and St. William School, Euclid. She served an additional 18 years as principal at St. Robert School, Euclid; St. Charles Borromeo, Parma, and St. Mary School in Collinwood. In Sister Margaret’s last formal ministry she served 10 years as treasurer at the Ursuline motherhouse.
Throughout the years Sister Margaret enjoyed traveling to visit family with her dear friend Sister Maurita. The two counted themselves fortunate to have had the opportunity to journey to Italy to visit the home of Ursuline foundress Angela Merici.
In retirement at the motherhouse and in the Saint Angela Center, Sisters Margaret and Maurita continued to enjoy life and a myriad of activities, and to give of themselves in the ministry of prayer and presence. And together, the friends made the move to Regina. With Sister Maurita’s sudden death in September 2014 many feared that Sister Margaret would decline rapidly, but that was not the case. She kept the memory of her friend alive, and continued to give herself to prayer and to numerous activities. And in her roommate, Dominican Sister Rose Miller, Sister Margaret found another faithful and supportive companion.
Sister Margaret will be remembered for her ready smile and quick wit and, in her last years, for the coat and scarf she regularly donned to counter the chill in the air. She was a committed religious, a dedicated educator and a woman who loved life and drank fully of its sweetness.
Donations in Sister Margaret’s name may be made to the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland.
Funeral Services for Sister Margaret Whittaker
Wake: 3:00 PM, Tuesday, January 3
Ursuline Motherhouse, 2600 Lander Road, Pepper Pike
Funeral Mass: 7:00 PM Tuesday
Chapel of the Most Holy Trinity (Motherhouse)
Burial Service: 9:30 AM Wednesday, January 4
Interment will follow at All Souls Cemetery, Chardon.
ARRANGEMENTS BY DEJOHN-FLYNN-MYLOTT FUNERAL HOME.
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