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Published: Saturday, 10/16/2004

Teacher, librarian followed the Tigers

Sister Mary Clarette Welfle, a former teacher, librarian, and principal, died Tuesday at the Provincial Center of the Sisters of Notre Dame. She was 91.

The cause of her death was unknown, Sister Mary Patricia Snyder said.

Sister Mary Clarette was an outgoing person who seemed to have friends all over, Sister Mary Patricia said. "When she was teaching, students liked her very much," she said. "They related to her very well."

Sister Mary Clarette began her teaching career in a one-room school in Huron County in 1931. She taught in Huron County schools for about 10 years before she became a nun.

A woman who was in one of her fifth-grade classes during that time e-mailed the Sisters of Notre Dame from Rome to say that Sister Mary Clarette made her classes come alive.

She entered the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1942, drawn partly because she knew many of the sisters and partly because their chief ministry was education. She professed her vows in 1945.

Her first assignment, from 1945 to 1952, was teaching at Ladyfield Catholic School. She then taught at St. Michael's, St. Mary's, and the former St. Louis schools.

She became principal of Ladyfield in 1964 and was later principal at St. Joseph's in Maumee.

In 1972, she began teaching social studies at Notre Dame Academy. She later became the chief librarian, and she continued to help in the library after she retired about 1990.

Born Elizabeth Welfle on Jan. 29, 1913, in Norwalk, she grew up on a farm with one sister and five foster siblings.

She received an education degree from Bowling Green State University, and she later received a master's degree in library science from Villanova University in Pennsylvania.

Sister Mary Clarette liked to watch dog shows and was a Detroit Tigers fan.

Surviving is her sister, Mary Catherine Ashcraft.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. today in the Notre Dame Provincial House. Abele Funeral Home handled the arrangements.

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