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Published: Monday, 7/9/2001

For 52 years, nun guided students in grade schools

EDGERTON, Ohio - Sister Mary Ardis Imm, 88, a member of the Sisters of Notre Dame for 62 years who taught grade school at parishes throughout northwest Ohio and Toledo, died yesterday in the Sisters of Notre Dame health care center on Secor Road.

Formerly known as Sister Mary Sebastia, she lived at the congregation's Lial convent near Whitehouse, said Sister Mary Patricia Snyder. Sister Ardis died from complications from a heart attack she suffered about two weeks ago, Sister Patricia said.

The fourth of 10 children, Sister Ardis grew up in Edgerton in Williams County. She attended public schools because her home parish, St. Mary's Church, did not have a school. She went to catechism classes at the church between Sunday Masses.

Sister Patricia said the parish priest encouraged the students to consider a religious vocation.

“When she was in a junior in high school, she felt that was what she wanted to do,” she said.

Sister Ardis entered the sister's Provincial House in Toledo in July, 1929, completing her final year of high school at Notre Dame Academy. She enrolled at the former Mary Manse College, obtaining a bachelor of arts degree in education.

Sister Ardis taught for 52 years at grade schools in northwest Ohio and Toledo affiliated with the order, including St. Paul's, Norwalk; Immaculate Conception, Bellevue; St. Joseph, Monroeville; St. Mary, Sandusky; St. Joseph, Fremont; St. John, Delphos; St. Wendelin, Fostoria; St. Augustine, Napoleon; and St. Michael Ridge, Defiance. In Toledo, she taught at Holy Rosary, St. Louis, St. Michael, St. Benedict, and St. Ann.

She last taught at Sacred Heart School in Bethlehem, Ohio, in Richland County. Sister Patricia said she was fond of guiding children in the first and second grades through the instruction for the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist. “That was a great joy of hers,” she said.

Sister Ardis also cared for the sacristy in the churches of the parishes she served.

In retirement from teaching, Sister Ardis did light housekeeping, tutored Lial Elementary children in religion, and visited people in area nursing homes.

“She was the kind of person who could not be inactive. She would go to the nursing homes to visit the sick, talk to them, and comfort them. She loved to do that,” Sister Patricia said.

Surviving are her sister, Opal Stillwell; brother, Merle Imm, and nieces and nephews.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 5 p.m. tomorrow in the Provincial Center on Secor Road, where visitation will be held after 2 p.m. tomorrow. A wake service will be held at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow.

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