Marion Pasdiora, BVM (Jean Victor) died Friday, Nov. 24,2017, at Mercy Medical Center in Dubuque, Iowa. Visitation will be from 9–10:15 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, in the Marian Hall Chapel. A Sharing of Memories and funeral liturgy will immediately follow. Burial is in the Mount Carmel cemetery.
She was born in Chicago on Aug. 29, 1928, to Victor and Barbara Bouland Pasdiora. She entered the BVM congregation Sept. 8, 1947, from St. Andrew Parish, Chicago. She professed first vows on March 19, 1950, and final vows on Aug. 15, 1955.
Sister Marion taught elementary school in Boone, Iowa; Lead, S.D.; and Wilmot, Wis. She taught secondary school business classes in Sioux City and Fort Dodge, Iowa; and Chicago. In Mundelein, Ill., she served on a secondary school office staff as bursar/treasurer and business manager, was a university secretary, and later volunteered as assistant sacristan.
She was preceded in death by her parents and brothers: Victor, Raymond, Robert, Lawrence, and Edward, Sr. She is survived by nieces, nephews and the Sisters of Charity, BVM, with whom she shared life for 70 years.
Sister Marion Pasdiora, BVM (Jean Victor),
Marian Hall, Nov. 29, 2017
Good morning and welcome to the celebration of life of our Sister Marion Pasdiora.
Marion Barbara Pasdiora entered this world on Aug. 29, 1928, as the youngest child and only daughter of Victor and Barbara Bouland Pasdiora. She joined four brothers: Victor, Robert, Larry and Edward. Another brother, Raymond, died from scarlet fever before Marion was born.
Marion’s father was born in Austria, but emigrated to the United States prior to WWI to avoid the draft. He found his way to Chicago where he boarded with a French family, the Boulands. He soon developed an attraction to the family’s beautiful, young daughter. “Unlike today when that would cause a young man to move in,” commented Marion, “my father decided to move out so that he could be free to date my mother.”
Her father worked for the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad where he rose to the position of supervisor in the freight house. The Pasdiora family took full advantage of free train passes available to employees to enjoy many Sunday excursions to the Milwaukee Zoo. Marion grew up less than a mile from Wrigley Field and was an avid Chicago Cubs fan. What a thrill it was to have free tickets for the first night game at Wrigley Field on Aug. 8, 1988!
After graduating from high school, Marion worked in the office of a tannery for a year before entering the BVM congregation on Sept. 8, 1947. She wrote, “I wish to become a Sister because of my love of God, the desire to devote my life serving Him in a special manner, and because I wish to get closer to Him.” She received the name Jean Victor upon her reception on March 19, 1948, professed first vows on March 19, 1950, and lived 70 years as a BVM.
Marion was missioned as an elementary teacher at Sacred Heart in Boone, Iowa; St. Patrick in Lead, N.D.; and Holy Name at Wilmot, Wis. She taught business classes to students from St. Pius at St. Mary HS in Chicago, Heelan HS in Sioux City, Iowa, and St. Edmund HS in Fort Dodge, Iowa. She worked as a secretary at St. Mary of the Lake seminary in Mundelein, Ill., for 14 years. Prior to that, she was the financial officer for Carmel HS, also in Mundelein, for 16 years. She practiced good stewardship by being conservative in framing budgets, wise in facing unexpected expenses, and consistent in following purchasing procedures. Often she worked into the night checking the daily records for accuracy.
Lead was Marion’s favorite mission because of its uniqueness. Because many older sisters could not tolerate the altitude, when Marion was there, five of the seven BVMs were under temporary vows. The convent was built over a gold mine so the house often shook, even at night, as miners set off explosives around the clock. Once a crack in the roof shuddered opened to reveal the sky!
There were only enough beds for the sisters who were missioned in Lead. When the provincial came to visit, Marion was assigned to sleep on the enclosed porch. With the door padlocked due to a friendly pastor who simply walked into the convent to visit, the only way onto the porch was through a parlor window. It created quite a stir when the provincial caught Marion climbing through the window and thought she was leaving the convent in the middle of the night! Decades later, just the thought of that night could still make Marion laugh.
In her retirement, Marion was active in St. Mary of Vernon Parish in Indian Creek, Ill., where she served as sacristan at daily Mass, volunteered at the pick-up center for the needy, and was an attentive listener to members of her community. Her dedication and compassion were evident in all she did.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus teaches, “When you do good to other people, when you give something to a needy person, do not make a big show of it.” Marion would not want to hear all this praise. She was an extreme introvert who happily maintained a low profile. Quietly and secretly, she brought out the best in people and then graciously credited the goodness of others for enabling her to do good work. She was content and happy, and simply grinned when teased about her quiet nature.
Marion’s fidelity to her family was strong. For years, she visited her elderly mother every weekend to help her brother Victor who served as the primary caregiver. After their mother’s death, she and Victor took many wonderful trips in his camper.
Marion’s faithful devotion also extended to her friends, especially to Sister Mary K. O’Brien. Marion lived with Mary K. in Mundelein for 10 years and grew increasingly concerned as Mary K. became more confused and less able. As a loyal friend, she moved with Mary K. to Mount Carmel in 2014, visiting her daily to keep her company and share the news. Why should we be surprised that Marion went to ahead to be there to welcome Mary K. to her heavenly home?
As we celebrate her life, may our prayers for Marion echo the words of St. Paul: “I want you to be happy, always happy in the Lord.”