Sister Clarice Kane
Elegant, Artistic, Faith-filled
A consummate lady and most professional educator, a great cook and a wonderful story-teller, Sister Mary Clarice Kane quietly moved through life always striving for the best in what she did and how she related to others.
The daughter of John and Francis (Fettkether) Kane, Sister Clarice was born Dorothy Elizabeth Kane on April 8, 1917, in Fairbank, Iowa. She entered the Sisters of the Presentation in August of 1933 and professed her perpetual vows on July 31, 1939. Her Presentation career spanned 76 years as teacher and principal.
Sister Clarice received inspiration to religious life and teaching from her older sister, Sister Mary Eunice Kane. “My becoming a Presentation sister grew out of my respect for Eunice and all the sisters who taught me. Their simple lifestyle and their devotion to their work with students had a great impact on my decision.”
Teaching was a treasured ministry for Sister Clarice. From her earliest years in the classroom to instructing young sisters in the summer at Mount Loretto, she is remembered as bringing her sense of “the best” to education.
“When teaching with Sister Clarice at Holy Family Catholic School in Mason City, I experienced her as a very seasoned teacher who had much respect from the entire faculty,” states Sister Beth Driscoll. Several young men on the staff, recalls Sister Beth, would go to Sister Clarice for advice on teaching methods and for wisdom in disciplining students. “She also added a great deal to our school’s faith community.”
Sister Clarice retired to Mount Loretto in 1995 and then found time for personal prayer and community service. She enjoyed crocheting and could add a special decorative touch to any setting. She was a wonderful storyteller and loved to recall pleasant memories about students, parents and colleagues.
“A good teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others.” Such a truth comes to light from the lives touched by Sister Clarice the teacher. Described as an excellent principal with high professional standards, Sister Clarice was at the same time one who established effective and caring relationships with her students and teachers.
“Sister treated us all alike, whether we were sisters or lay teachers,” remembers Sister Hermann Platt who taught seventh and eighth grade at St. Germaine School in Oak Lawn, Illinois, where Sister Clarice was principal. She related well to my junior high students letting them know that she truly cared for them.”
From establishing a central library in a school to taking her teachers-in-training on field trips to discover the wonders of Midwestern geography and terrain, Sister Clarice was also a great story-teller who could draw out humor and enjoy a good laugh.
“In addition to being a great educator, Sister Clarice was a very good cook and artistic in her presentation,” remarks Sister Rosalyn Ulfers. “I remember how she once made a beautiful corn- of-copia for the table.”
One of Sister Clarice’s cherished sayings, “Life outlined with prayer is less likely to unravel,” was her strong witness to Sister Suzanne Gallagher. “She nurtured me through my months of chemotherapy with much faith that I would get well. She helped God care me back to health.”
Recalling Sister Clarice as a friend and companion in community, Sister Suzanne adds. “She traveled with a parish group to Spain with great enthusiasm and energy; she carried a sense of elegant simplicity and hidden mystery in all she did and was; she believed that you should leave a place, a situation, a relationship better than how you found it.” As she has gone home to her God, Sister Clarice has left her caring, elegant touch on many lives.
If you would like to make a memorial gift in memory of Sister Clarice, click here.