Obituary – Sister Dorothy (John Ellen) Nauer, IHM
MONROE, Mich. – Sister Dorothy Nauer, IHM, died Feb. 17, 2021, at IHM Senior Living Community on the IHM Motherhouse campus. She was 93 years old.
Dorothy Mae Nauer was born April 12, 1927, in Akron, Ohio to John and Helen (Crum) Nauer. The family’s children of three sisters and five brothers attended St. Mary Elementary and High School (Akron). After graduation in 1945, Dorothy entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Monroe, and received the religious name Sister John Ellen. This year celebrates her 75th-year Jubilee.
Upon earning a bachelor’s degree from Marygrove College, Detroit, Sister Dorothy began her educational ministry teaching at St. John, Benton Harbor; St. Agnes and St. Raymond, Detroit; St. John, Jackson; St. Michael, Monroe; St. Charles, Newport; and St. Timothy, Trenton, Mich. While serving at St. Timothy, she earned a master’s degree (University of Detroit) and served as the parish school’s principal from 1968-1971. She then served in pastoral ministry at the parish.
In 1974, Sister Dorothy pursued the clinical pastoral education program at University Hospital, Ann Arbor, and attained certification as a chaplain. She served eight years as chaplain at Hutzel Hospital, Detroit. With these experiences, Sister Dorothy served in leadership roles for her religious community as health services administrator of St. Mary Infirmary, later known as St. Mary Health Care Center, and as assistant provincial through 1994.
She later enjoyed volunteer services while residing in the Southgate area and contributed her skills as a tutor in the GEM Program at Holy Redeemer, Detroit, for more than 10 years. Retiring to the Motherhouse in 2011, she enjoyed the fellowship of her community sisters and participating in community events.
Sister Dorothy is survived by sister Ruth Ann Nauer of Akron, Ohio, and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by sister, Earlene Szeles, and brothers Donald, Gerald, John, Paul and Richard.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, services will be private at the IHM Motherhouse Chapel on Wednesday, Feb. 24. Services will be Livestreamed beginning at 10 a.m. at https://bit.ly/3bgZwQK and accessible until March 17. Arrangements under the direction of the Rupp Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to the IHM Retirement Fund, 610 W. Elm Ave., Monroe, MI 48162-7909.