Sisters of Notre Dame…Missioned to Incarnate the Love of our good and provident God

Sister Mary Margaret 

Sister Mary Margaret                      ND 4375            PDF Download
(formerly Sister Mary Nathan)

Margaret Lucile HESS

Christ the King Province, Chardon, Ohio, USA

Date and Place of Birth:                  May 25, 1928            Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Profession:        August 16, 1949        Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Death:                August 9, 2019          Health Care Center, Chardon, Ohio
Date and Place of Funeral:             August 14, 2019        Provincial Center, Chardon, Ohio
Date and Place of Burial:                August 14, 2019        Resurrection Cemetery, Chardon

“Who shall find a valiant woman…”

Margaret was the third of the four girls and one boy born to Eugene and Nina (Weston) Hess. Her parents had loving, joy-filled hearts and deep faith. Childhood years were happy ones where love and concern for one another was nurtured. After completing elementary grades at St. Clement School, Lakewood, Margaret attended St. Stephen High School in Cleveland. These school years were filled with friends, wonderful classes and teachers, participation in many sports and a realization that God was calling her to religious life. After graduation in 1946, Margaret entered the Sisters of Notre Dame on September 8 and at investment received the name Sister Mary Nathan. Later, she returned to her baptismal name.

Sister Mary Margaret received a bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame College in South Euclid, Ohio, and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. For fifteen years Sister’s ministry in education centered on teaching business courses to high school students. Sister recognized the importance of gaining business skills for future employment and for life. She was patient, kind and interested in the progress of her students, both academically and personally.

In 1965, due to the illness of Sister Mary John Hockwalt, Provincial Treasurer, Sister Mary Margaret was asked to assist in the community office and learn the duties of the treasurer. Sister’s “yes” to that call led to her appointment as Treasurer for the Chardon Province—a ministry she held for thirty-five years. Sister Mary Margaret was able to see beyond the present to a future that was not perfect, but good and full of hope. She was gifted with a deep commitment to mission, love for her sisters and boundless energy. Her business acumen, along with the advice of competent collaborators, enabled her to invest resources wisely. She worked tirelessly and with great trust to ensure that for the sisters, especially in retirement, all would be well.

After a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease in 1999, Sister assumed the role of financial and legal consultant, and maintained a strong interest in whatever was being built, renovated, bought, sold or invested. These years brought enormous challenges and much suffering, but she never stopped knowing how to love, pray for and be with those she held dear. She was sister, educator, mentor, treasurer, faithful friend and financial wizard, but once remarked, “You could say less about my financial work but more about relationship to the community and to the sisters. This was the most important part of my religious life—not what I did or the positions I held but the interaction with the sisters and lay people. I treasure this more than the “treasurer.” We are grateful for the life and presence of Sister Mary Margaret and the witness of her wisdom and fidelity. May she be gifted with eternal life and delight in the welcoming embrace of our good and loving God.

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