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Published: Thursday, 2/23/2006

Nun taught home ec at Central for 19 years

Sister Mary Kenneth Iott, 93, a retired teacher for Catholic Diocese of Toledo schools, died Tuesday in the Ursuline Center from complications of a stroke.

Her career in education spanned 38 years.

Sister Mary Kenneth taught home economics for many years at Lima Central Catholic High School and then at Tiffin Calvert High School, from which she retired in 1973.

Before that, Sister Mary Kenneth, who started her career in education teaching elementary grades at St. Agnes School in Toledo, taught home economics for 19 years at Toledo's Central Catholic High School.

She was director of food services at the Ursuline Motherhouse from 1973 until 1985, when she became director of food services at St. Ursula Academy Convent. She did the job until 1991, when she moved to the Ursuline Center, where she helped in the kitchen and as a receptionist until four years ago.

"She was very even-tempered and very diligent about preparing her students in the field of home economics," said Sister Kathleen Padden, who knew her for 56 years. "[And] she was wonderful in the kitchen, delighted in trying out new recipes, and [was] artistic in presentation of foods."

Sister Justine Hill added: "She was a delightful person to be with. She dearly loved her family and family reunions. And she had many funny stories to tell about her youth."

A native of Whiteford Township, Mich., Sister Mary Kenneth, the former Alice Ann Iott, entered the Ursuline order in 1944 and made her final profession of vows in 1949.

Her older sister, Sister Claire Marie Iott, also a member of the Ursuline order, influenced Sister Mary Kenneth's decision to become a nun, Sister Kathleen said. Sister Claire Marie died in 2002.

Sister Mary Kenneth graduated from St. Ursula Academy and received a bachelor of arts degree from the former Mary Manse College and a master's of education degree from St. Louis University. She did advanced study at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, Cornell University, and Fontbonne College, St. Louis.

Sister Mary Kenneth enjoyed knitting, crocheting, sewing, and playing cards and bingo.

Surviving is her brother, Wallace D. Iott, the former owner of the Seaway Food Town supermarket chain.

The body will be in the Ursuline Center after 2:30 p.m. today, with a vigil service at 7 tonight. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. tomorrow in the Ursuline Center Chapel. Arrangements are by the Coyle Funeral Home.

The family suggests tributes to the Ursuline Convent of the Sacred Heart retirement fund.

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