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Sister M. Digna, OSF 1923-2013
Sister M. Digna Chirpich entered life on March 1, 1923, and entered eternal life on January 29, 2013. The daughter of Thomas and Mary Chirpich was born in Wells, Minnesota and came to Sylvania, Ohio to become a Sister of St. Francis in September, 1942, professing her first vows in August, 1945 and her final vows in August, 1948.
Her 68 years of service to God's people were spent primarily in elementary education as a teacher. She taught in schools in Hamtramck and Wyandotte, Michigan; Minneapolis and Fairmont, Minnesota; and Toledo and Walbridge, Ohio. She was a religion teacher in Mt. Clemens, Michigan, a librarian in Fairmont, Minnesota, and did tutoring in schools in Toledo and Sylvania, Ohio and in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Sister Digna engaged in a special ministry when she cared for her sister in Fairmont, Minnesota until her death in 1991. Her last tutoring ministry was at the Franciscan Academy of Lourdes University where she and her sister, Sister Philothea, joyfully helped many children in more than their academics. They were a loving presence to the children and are remembered with great fondness and appreciation by the children, teachers and staff at the Academy.
Sister Digna was well prepared for her teaching ministry having received a B.A. in Education from Mary Manse College in Toledo, Ohio and a M. A. in Education and Cognate Reading from St. Thomas College in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Sister Digna will be dearly missed by all who knew her. Though slight in body, she had a strong will and when she wanted something to happen, she would find others who could help her achieve her goals. She did so with a gracious but very convincing manner. The Sisters who resided with her at Rosary Care Center accompanied her in her last days with prayerful support. Her dear sister, Sister Philothea, will miss her but has many happy and endearing memories of their special time together since retiring to Sylvania in 2006.
There will be a Welcoming for Sister Digna in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Francis in Sylvania from 6:00-8:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 3, 2013. Her funeral will be 4:00 p.m. on Monday, February 4, 2013, preceded by visitation throughout the day. Interment will be in Porta Coeli Cemetery on the campus of the Sisters. Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of St. Francis, Sylvania, Ohio. Arrangements by Thomas I. Wisniewski Funeral Home, Toledo, Ohio.
Published in Toledo Blade on Feb. 1, 2013