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Alumna and professor emerita Jean Dummer, CSJ, dies

Jean Dummer, CSJ
Jean Dummer, CSJ
Photo from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet

Jean (Francine) Dummer, CSJ died Saturday, January 16, 2016 at Carondelet Village in St. Paul. She was 83 years old.

Sister Jean was born in Sykeston, North Dakota, on December 20, 1932. Students, colleagues and friends describe her as “vital, conscientious, thorough, totally dedicated to whatever she was doing.”

Jean graduated from Sykeston Public High School. She was offered a scholarship to the College of St. Catherine. In 1952, the end of her sophomore year, she entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in St. Paul.

She earned a bachelor's degree in English, speech and theater in 1956 and began teaching students English and directing the schools’ theater productions at St. Mary’s in Waverly, Minnesota. Later, she taught at St. Joseph’s Academy, St. Paul, and at St. James in Grand Forks, North Dakota. During summers she worked on a master's degree in drama and secondary education at the Catholic University of America, completing it in 1965.

In 1973, Sister Jean earned a doctorate from the University of Nebraska. She spent most of her teaching years (1969, 1973-2005) in St. Kate's education department. She was the first director of St. Kate's master's in education program.

In 2001,  St. Catherine presented the Myser Family Foundation Faculty Mentoring Award to Sister Jean with the words, “Jean, you have set in motion the love of education in many elementary and secondary students. When your students leave St. Kate’s they are enthusiastic and compassionate teachers who make learning fun.” Upon her retirement in 2005, she was honored as a professor emerita of education.

Recognized for her professionalism by colleagues and students, Sister Jean served on numerous university and community committees. She was always active in the National Council of Teachers of English and its Minnesota affiliate. 

Sister Jean was an avid reader and photographer, and she loved conversations with and about books. She also loved to travel. With Miriam Shea, CSJ, her colleague, lifelong friend and frequent travel companion, she collected creches from around the world.

Jean was preceded in death by her parents (Dr.) Francis William Dummer and Elizabeth (Schaack) Dummer; her brother-in-law, Gerald Bougie; her nephew, Dean Patrick. She is survived by her sister, Gloria Bougie; her nephew, Paul (Barbara) and many cousins; her dear friend, Miriam Shea, CSJ; many other friends, former colleagues and Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Consociates.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held at Our Lady of the Presentation Chapel on January 25, with interment at Resurrection Cemetery.

Jan. 27, 2016 by Susan Hames, CSJ

See also: Alumnae/i, Education, Faculty