Sister Mary Annfrancis

Sister Mary Annfrancis                   ND 4345                      PDF Download

Joan Agnes DEMMING

Christ the King Province, Chardon, Ohio, USA

Date and Place of Birth:              November 14, 1926    Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Profession:   August 16, 1948          Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Death:            October 25, 2019        Health Care Center, Chardon, Ohio
Date and Place of Funeral:          October 31, 2019        Provincial Center, Chardon, Ohio
Date and Place of Burial:            October 31, 2019        Resurrection Cemetery, Chardon

Being the youngest, and only girl, of the three children born to Bernard and Frances (Bowman) Demming, Joan found her early years challenging. Her brothers “were my masters until I was big enough (18) to stand up for myself.” Their protectiveness was actually a gift, as strong family bonds were formed. Joan was always interested in and participated in sports, especially baseball. Her father was a sandlot baseball umpire for many years. After completing elementary grades at St. Ignatius School in Cleveland, Joan attended St. Stephen High School, Cleveland. These school years were filled with friends, wonderful classes and teachers, participation in many activities and a realization that God was calling her to religious life. After graduation in 1945, Joan entered the Sisters of Notre Dame on September 16 and, at investment, received the name Sister Mary Annfrancis, honoring her mother and her special friend, St. Francis.

Sister received a bachelor’s degree from St. John College in Cleveland, and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. After eleven years of teaching primary and intermediate grades, Sister Mary Annfrancis ministered to high school students. She taught business courses: typing, shorthand, office practice, accounting and bookkeeping. She maintained high standards, modeling precision and pride in the acquisition of skills she recognized as important for life. Sister was patient, kind and interested in the progress of her students, both academically and personally.

In 1989, Sister Mary Annfrancis moved from Middleburg, Virginia, to Chardon. As assistant in the Finance Office at Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin School, she was meticulous and conscientious in fulfilling her duties. Sister treasured her family and her many friends, colleagues and former students—and was very serious about her responsibility to hold them in prayer, saying countless rosaries every day.

Sister Mary Annfrancis was gifted with a keen wit, a huge heart and an understanding ear. For the past few years, she spent her days with needlework, watching sports, attending to correspondence and visiting with anyone who stopped to say hello. Her greatest work, however, remained her fidelity to prayer and to sorting many items—including greeting cards, letters, pictures—all of which held cherished memories. She valued her family history and her years of ministry and desired to pass on to her relatives and friends what would be most meaningful to each.

Sister’s driving motivation was always a deep love for God and love for her community. Sister Mary Annfrancis was a woman of prayer whose life was dedicated to the service of others. We are grateful for her life, presence and witness. May she be gifted with the joy and peace of eternal life.