Sister Luz María Orozco, CHM
November 3, 1933-September 13, 2021
Sister Luz Maria Orozco, CHM, 87, died September 13, 2021, at the home of a friend in Pittsburgh, PA. The cremated remains will be buried later. Services will take place at St. John Fisher Church in Churchill, PA, on Saturday, September 25th. Private services will take place at the Humility of Mary Center in Davenport, IA, with a memorial service at 6:30 pm on September 27th and a memorial mass at 11 am on the 28th; both will be live-streamed.
Luz María Orozco was born November 3, 1933, in Mexico City, México, to Isidro Orozco Portugal and María del Rosario Martínez Aragón de Orozco. She entered the Congregation of the Humility of Mary in 1958 and professed vows in 1960.
Sister received a double BA degree in French and English from Marycrest College in Davenport, IA, in 1956, and completed her MA in English from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, just weeks before entering the Congregation in 1958. She earned a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and was a two-time English Fulbright Scholar at Oxford University in England, both in 1973. In 1974, she did post-graduate work at Notre Dame College in Waterloo, Canada, and in 1986 was a scholar and visiting professor at Yale University in New Haven, CT.
S. Luz María's ministry of education shifted frequently between that of the student and that of the teacher. After completing her MA, she was a Professor of English at Marycrest College from 1960-1967. She then embarked on nearly a decade of post-graduate studies before spending the 1986-87 academic year as a visiting professor at Yale. During this time, she retained her regular appointment as a Professor of English and Spanish at Marycrest College/Marycrest International University. When Marycrest closed in 2002, she served as a substitute teacher at Assumption High School in Davenport. Other academic awards included the Danforth Teacher Grant and the Sears-Roebuck Foundation Independent Higher Education Teaching Excellence Award.
In 1993, S. Luz María was inducted into the World's Who's Who of Women for her contribution to the academic world. When asked by the Rock Island Argus in 1985 why she entered teaching, she replied "This was obviously the best way of uniting my Spanish heritage and my British education and my French major." Her life was one striving for balance and an aversion to being one-sided. While her study focus shifted from her initial Marycrest enrollment in medical technology, backed by a music scholarship, to English literature, she also embraced athleticism, regularly engaging in volleyball, tennis, swimming, and skateboarding. She was an avid writer, from formal scholarly articles, to letters to newspaper editors, to the award-winning poetry that helped her restore her inner balance. Above all, she embraced humor, both in her studies and her life, whether in citing humorous newspaper articles from 18th century England or using soap operas to teach Greek classics, a method that culminated in the paper "As The World Churns: The Classics as Soaps," which was presented to the National Linguistic Humor Conference and earned an invitation to an international conference in Ireland.
S. Luz María is preceded in death by her parents, her sisters, Ana María Orozco, CHM and Lolita Orozco and brother, Francisco. She is survived by a sister, María Teresa Orozco de Arguelles, a nephew, three nieces and members of her CHM community.
Memorials may be made to the Congregation of the Humility of Mary.