Sister Mary Josanne

Sister  Mary  Josanne            ND 4337                PDF Download
Dorothy Ann Furey

Rosa Mystica Province, California

Date and Place of Birth:            February 8, 1925   Toledo, Ohio
Date and Place of Profession: August 16, 1948    Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Death:         January 29, 2016  Notre Dame Center, Thousand Oaks, California

JosanneDorothy Ann Furey was the oldest of Teresa Tillman and Edmond Francis Furey’s four children.  Although Dorothy grew up in Toledo, most of her summers were spent in near Houghton Lake in Michigan swimming, boating, horseback riding and frog catching.

In 1930, Dorothy was enrolled in Our Lady of Perpetual Help School.  Sister’s parents, however, felt she needed a more challenging curriculum and, in 1937, transferred her to Notre Dame Academy on Bancroft in Toledo.  Sister’s years at NDA and later at Notre Dame College, Cleveland, were filled with activities – sports, dancing, and, in college, working in her aunt’s bookstore and ushering for the Cleveland Opera.  Sister Mary Josanne graduated Cum Laude from Notre Dame College in June 1945 and entered the Sisters of Notre Dame on Ansel Road the following September.

At first, Sister Mary Josanne ministered in secondary education in the Cleveland area.  In 1960, Sister was transferred to California, where she subsequently taught at Notre Dame Academy, Los Angeles (1960-1966, 1983-1984), La Reina High School, Thousand Oaks (1966-1983), and St. Bonaventure High School, Ventura (1984-2006). As principal at La Reina, Sister Mary Josanne initiated the addition of the seventh and eighth grades.

Among Sister Mary Josanne’s “first loves” was mathematics. At La Reina, Sister started her own mathematics competition for 7th and 8th graders. When she later transferred to Saint Bonaventure, she initiated the competition there as well.  The following year, the Mathematical Association of America invited her to join a team of 15 mathematicians who gathered once a year to formulate original math problems for 25-question, timed tests for the American Mathematics Competition. “The problems weren’t simple,” Sister Mary Josanne said, “I had to create the circumstances to make them difficult.”

Another of Sister Mary Josanne’s “loves” were the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame – something she had acquired in childhood.  During the football season, the children at Our lady of Perpetual Help sang the Victory March and listened to a recording of Knute Rockne’s famous speech each morning before class and were rewarded with a candy bar every time the team won.

Sister Mary Josanne described herself as “a community person.”  As she herself admitted:  “By nature I am not a solitary soul…  I don’t have a problem making friends.”  The celebrations of Congregation’s Centennial in Cleveland (1950) and its Sesquicentennial in California (2000) together with her participation in the 1974 General Chapter as well as visits to both Toledo and Florida – all were occasions to renew important relationships with her family and friends especially with the sisters in her entrance group with whom she remained very close throughout her religious life.

In 2007 Sister Mary Josanne joined the community at Notre Dame Center where she continued to remain active helping in the Finance and Development offices as well as working jig-saw puzzles, enjoying a good mystery, and cheering for St. Bonaventure’s football team, the Seraphs.  Sister quietly and peacefully went home to God on Friday, January 30, 2016, just two weeks before her 91st birthday.

May she rest in peace.