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Published: Friday, 11/18/2005

Notre Dame nun taught for 40 years in NW Ohio

Sister Mary Jogues Ottenweller, 92, who taught primary grades throughout northwest Ohio for 40 years, died Wednesday in the Sisters of Notre Dame Provincial Health Care Center, Toledo, where she lived for eight years. She had been in poor health.

Sister Mary Jogues' last assignment was in the early 1970s at St. Paul School in Jacksonville Beach, Fla. Teaching took her to the schools at St. Ann, Sacred Heart, St. Michael, and Holy Rosary parishes in Toledo.

She also taught at the schools of St. Joseph, Fremont; St. Mary, Sandusky; St. Wendelin, Fostoria; Immaculate Conception, Bellevue, Ohio; St. Paul, Norwalk, Ohio, and St. Joseph, Monroeville, Ohio.

"She was a delightful teacher," Sister Mary Patricia Snyder said. "She devoted her life to teaching children from grades one through four. She had a natural characteristic of genuine caring.

"The children loved her. They followed her around like a flock and would do anything she wanted them to do," Sister Mary Patricia said.

Afterward, Sister Mary Jogues was an assistant to a nurse at the health-care center of Lial Convent in Whitehouse, where retired sisters of the community live.

"She loved to be with people and do things for people," Sister Mary Patricia said.

Sister Mary Jogues was born Mary Gertrude Ottenweller and grew up in Leipsic, Ohio.

A younger brother, Albert, is a former auxiliary bishop of the Toledo diocese and is bishop emeritus of Steubenville, Ohio.

She attended Notre Dame Academy in Toledo as a boarder and entered the convent in 1931. She made her first vows in the community in 1933. Two nieces, Sister Diane Marie Pfahler and Sister Mary Dean Pfahler, followed her into the Notre Dame order, Sister Mary Patricia said.

Sister Mary Jogues received a bachelor's degree from the former DeSales College in Toledo.

Surviving are her brother, Bishop Albert Ottenweller; sisters, Joan Pfahler and Phyllis Lowry; half sister, Rosaline Buescher, and stepsister, Jane Brandt.

Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. tomorrow in the Provincial Center, where the body will be after 3 p.m. today, with a sharing of memories at 7 tonight there. Arrangements are by the Abele Mortuary.

The family suggests tributes to the Sisters of Notre Dame.

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