January 24, 1912 – September 24, 1998
Sister Marie Ida’s favorite Scripture passage was, “One thing I ask of the Lord; this I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life” (Ps 27:4). For all the years of her religious life except one, it was her privilege to live in a convent where the Blessed Sacrament was reserved. Now hers is a new, eternal life with God, where St. Paul tells us, “We shall be with the Lord unceasingly” (I Thessolonians 4:17).
Sister Marie Ida’s favorite Scripture passage was, “One thing I ask of the Lord; this I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life” (Ps 27:4). For all the years of her religious life except one, it was her privilege to live in a convent where the Blessed Sacrament was reserved. Now hers is a new, eternal life with God, where St. Paul tells us, “We shall be with the Lord unceasingly” (I Thes 4:17).
Earthly life for Sister Marie Ida began at Bay City, Michigan on January 24, 1912, when she became the first of four children born to Victor and Ida Obey. She received the sacred waters of Baptism at St. Joseph, Bay City, on February 4, 1912, and was given the name of Mary Margaret Lucille Jeannette. The Mary Margaret was dropped and she was always known as Lucille.
Both of Lucille’s parents were exemplary Catholics and her dear mother was soon to prove herself a valiant woman When Lucille was only six years of age, her father died of cancer and left her mother with four small children. The mother admirably raised the three girls and a boy, for twenty-one years and also cared for Lucille’s invalid sister. Lucille’s elementary education from Kindergarten through Grade Six was at Garfield School in Bay City. Then for Grades Seven and Eight and High School she attended St. Joseph School.
Her vocation to be a Sister she believes dated back to those sad days, when in response to her dying father’s question about what she was going to be when she grew up, she promptly replied that she was going to be a Sister. During his last illness her father, himself a former seminarian, told her mother that if any of the children wished to enter religious life, she should make every sacrifice to let them go. Lucille had met the Mercy Sisters as a very young child when her father was hospitalized. She also attended St. Joseph School at the time of her First Holy Communion.
After completing High School, Lucille worked as a teletype operator for a year before entering Marywood on September 8, 1932. She received St. Dominic’s white habit on August 22, 1933 and the name of Sister Marie Ida of the Sacred Heart. Two years later on August 23, 1935, she made her first profession of vows and her final vows on August 23, 1938.
Sister Marie Ida’s apostolic life as a religious was devoted to teaching. She remarked that her happiest years were those spent teaching Junior High. She considered it a real challenge to help these young people to grow, to give them ideals to live by. She had a special understanding of adolescent students. Sister taught in all the grades from three to nine; fourteen of her fifty years in Catholic education were spent in the dual role of teacher and administrator. She was not only a much-loved and excellent teacher, but also a very competent and understanding principal. In both the capacity of Principal and local Superior, she was much respected and appreciated.
Her assignments were at the following places: St. Mary, Muskegon; St. Andrew, St. Alphonsus, St. Thomas and St. Stephen in Grand Rapids; St. Mary Magdalene, Melvindale; Merrill; Mt. Pleasant; St. Joseph, St. Mary, and Holy Family in Saginaw; Muskegon Heights; Gaylord; Our Lady of Grace, Dearborn Heights; Beaver Island; Essexville; and Pinconning. She spent one year in adult foster care in Frederic. In 1984, Sister Marie Ida came to Marywood where she helped at Aquinata with the personal needs of the Sisters.
While stationed at St. Alphonsus, Sister Marie Ida was a participant in a significant bit of history. The Dominican Sisters had come to St. John Home in May, 1889. That September, St. Alphonsus School opened and from that time until October 21, 1942, St. John Home was HOME for the St. Alphonsus Sister faculty. Sister Marie Ida was one of the nine Sisters to move to their own convent at 169 Carrier.
By nature, Sister Marie Ida was a very quiet, gentle and loving person, who had many interests, such as: arts and crafts, bird watching, Tiger baseball, crossword puzzles, reading and star-gazing. Never strong, she had more than her share of illnesses.
Sister was ever-grateful to be a Dominican. In her autobiography, she wrote, “I can boast of no great achievements in my career, but now after almost fifty years, I look with awe at my vocation and ask, ‘Why me, Lord?” Then, I hasten to add, “Thank you, Lord. I hope I haven’t disappointed you too much.” We who knew Sister can readily add that the good Lord must have had a grand and gracious welcome for her when her earthly dwelling was exchanged for the glories of everlasting life. In a recent biographical sketch, she wrote, “If I have a vision or a dream, it would be that after my years of teaching I have exerted some positive influence on the hundreds of children I have taught and that I will some day meet them and my family and friends in the joy of His presence.” We are confident that her dream will be beyond her fondest expectation.
Sister Marie Ida is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Obey of Bay City; nieces, nephews and many friends.
Entered eternal life on September 24, 1998 at the age of 86 after 65 years of religious life
We commend Sister Marie Ida to your prayers.