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Published: Saturday, 8/14/2004

Catholic educator recalled as a strong, happy person

Sister Marie Agnes McCall, known as Mary Helen McCall before she entered the order, died Wednesday after a lifetime of service as a nun and teacher. She was 90.

She died at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian and was a member of the Adrian Dominican Congregation. The cause of death was unknown.

Sister McCall's sister, Lucille Canzona of Evergreen Park, Ill., said she remembers her as a kind and honest person who loved people and loved to teach. She remembers her sister's extreme devoutness and desire to become a nun after only the eighth grade. Their mother, believing her daughter too young, made her wait until after high school graduation, Ms. Canzona said.

"A wonderful person, a wonderful teacher; she was very kind, and very much a person person. She loved people, she loved to visit them, and she loved to talk to them," Ms. Canzona said. "She was just a very strong and happy person."

Sister McCall was born in Chicago to John and Agnes McCall. She graduated from Aquinas High School in Chicago.

Sister McCall spent her adult life in the order, in training, pursuing her own education, or assisting others with theirs. She received a bachelor of arts degree in English from Siena Heights College in Adrian. She earned a master's in English from Loyola University in Chicago.

She spent 53 years teaching in the Toledo area and elsewhere around the country. She was the coordinator of religious education in Calumet City, Mich., from 1972 to 1981.

Sister McCall was the director of religious education at St. Mary Star of the Sea in Oceanside, Calif., from 1981 to 1987 and was a resident of Dominican Oaks in Santa Cruz, Calif., for nine years before moving to the Dominican Life Center in 1999.

Sister McCall is survived only by her sister, Ms. Canzona.

Visitation will be held from

4:30 to 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Dominican Life Center with a vigil prayer service at 7 p.m. in the Rose Room. Funeral services will be held on Monday at 10:30 a.m. in the Rose Room.

The Anderson Funeral Home in Adrian is handling the funeral arrangements.

Tributes are suggested to the Adrian Dominican Sisters at 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Mich. 49221.

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