Therese Mary Waughon, BVM (John Francine)

Therese Mary Waughon, BVM (John Francine), died Wednesday, March 15, 2017, at Caritas Center in Dubuque, Iowa. The Natural Burial Rite of Committal is at 1:30 p.m., Thursday, March 16, 2017, in the Marian Hall Chapel. A sharing of memories and memorial Mass will be held at 10:45 a.m. on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, in the Marian Hall Chapel. Burial is in the Mount Carmel cemetery.

She was born in Chicago on March 7, 1931 , to John and Frances Smith Waughon. She entered the BVM congregation Sept. 8, 1948, from Mary Queen of Heaven Parish, Cicero, Ill. She professed first vows on March 19, 1951, and final vows on Aug. 15, 1956.

Sister Therese Mary taught elementary school in Maywood, Round Lake, Chicago and Cicero, Ill.; Fort Dodge and Jesup, Iowa; and Bellerose, N.Y. She also volunteered at a hospital in Chicago.

She was preceded in death by her parents and brother Francis. She is survived by a cousin and the Sisters of Charity, BVM, with whom she shared life for 68 years.

Sister Therese Mary Waughon, BVM (John Francine)
Memorial Mass Welcome
Marian Hall, March 21, 2017

Good afternoon and welcome to the celebration of life of our Sister Therese Mary Waughon.

Therese was born on March 7, 1931, in Chicago, the first child of John and Frances (Smith) Waughon of Cicero, Ill. She was later joined by her brother Francis, who was born with cerebral palsy. He lived at home all his life and worked as a shipping clerk.

Therese was only three years old when her mother died. Martha, the family housekeeper, helped raise the two children and eventually became their very caring and loving stepmother whom they called Mom. Martha assisted Francis in learning many skills, including how to drive, and helped him to find employment.

In the early 1940s, the family had a Victory Garden in which they grew a large variety of vegetables including beans, peas, tomatoes, potatoes and carrots. Therese assisted Martha with both the tending of the garden and the canning of its bounty. Some of Therese’s most treasured memories were of Christmas, putting up a real tree and setting out the manager. She also recalled that one year, instead of placing the tinsel on the tree one strand at a time as Martha had instructed, she threw all of it on at once.

Therese attended Mary Queen of Heaven school in Cicero, where the superior S.M. Callistus Schulte planted the seed by suggesting that Therese should become a BVM. Her call to religious life was solidified at St. Mary HS in Chicago. She entered the congregation on Sept. 8, 1948, and received the name John Francine upon her reception on March 19, 1949. She professed her first vows on March 19, 1951, and lived 68 years as a BVM.

Therese taught in elementary schools for 43 years. Her gentle spirit was endearing to her students who loved her. She was missioned in Illinois at St. Eulalia in Maywood, St. Joseph in Round Lake, Mary Queen of Heaven in Cicero, and St. Ferdinand, St. Dorothy and St. Gertrude, all in Chicago. She departed from St. Gertrude, where she had served for 21 years, with a letter to the parish, writing, “I have been with you in times of joy, sadness and rebirth. You have been a source of growth, and your children have been an inspiration.” She also taught in Iowa at Corpus Christi in Fort Dodge and St. Athanasius in Jesup, and in New York at St. Gregory the Great in Bellerose.

Therese lived at Wright Hall for 36 years during her time at St. Gertrude and into retirement. Sister Catherine Dominick, a member of Therese’s set, would often accompany her to Cicero to visit her parents and brother. In 1981, Catherine Dominick moved into an apartment above Therese’s family. Soon after, Therese’s father died and then in 1984, her brother Francis died. Catherine would often visit Martha and bring her Communion and special treats. Therese was deeply grateful for these special kindnesses shown to Martha.

Therese retired from teaching in 1994 and began volunteering at Columbus Hospital and the Blind Society in Chicago. She supplied food, clothing and other assistance at Mary Queen of Heaven in Cicero. In addition, she faithfully and effectively covered the Wright Hall reception desk, substituting for retired sisters who found volunteering in the evening to be difficult. She was always generous with her time and willing to perform any task.

From her youth, she was a voracious reader, eventually developing a special love for children’s literature. Visiting her room at Wright Hall, one could find piles of books stacked everywhere, even on the floor. After moving to Mount Carmel, one of her favorite pastimes was listening to audio books. Sister Catherine Jean Hayen, who frequently visited Therese after her fall in 2015, remarked that Therese delighted in spending time listening to the audio books, so much so that she almost listened to the entire library.

Therese was a quiet, kind woman with a warm, welcoming smile, a gentle sense of humor, and a beautiful singing voice. Although the last several years were difficult ones for Therese, her beautiful voice could still be heard when she joined in sing-a-longs. Last Wednesday, her struggles ended when God called her home. Now she sings heavenly tunes of peace and deep joy. Reunited with her family and “knowing the love of Christ,” she is “filled with the utter fullness of God.” How beautiful the smile that now graces her face!

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