Sister Mary Ann Hackenmiller, OSF, died on Saturday, November 15, 2014, at Clare House.
The sixth of seven children, Mary Ann was born to Andrew and Anna (Merten) Hackenmiller in Meyer, IA, on May 28, 1925. She had three brothers and three sisters. Mary Ann was baptized at Sacred Heart Church in Meyer, and attended the parochial school there. Her mother died when she was three and a half years old, leaving her father to raise the children to adulthood.
In Mary Ann’s words, “Since I grew up with Franciscans I used to think that they were the only religious group. At this point I am so grateful I didn’t know any better!” She became a postulant in 1944, joining an aunt, Sister Mary Virgine. Her high school education was received at the Immaculate Conception Academy. She later got a bachelor’s degree from Briar Cliff College and a master’s degree from the University of Portland. On Aug. 12, 1945, she was received into the community and took the name, Sister Mary Quentin. After profession in 1947, she began her teaching career at New Hampton. She also taught at Corpus Christi in Chicago, Sacred Heart in Dubuque, St. Joseph in Rickardsville, St Martin in Portland, and St. Francis Xavier in Dyersville.
Outside of teaching, she had a varied career as a day care provider, pastoral associate, and teacher aide. She considered the two summers she spent working among Indian and Eskimo communities in the bush of Alaska a special highlight of her career.
Mary Ann was an energetic person who always seemed to be “up”. Friendly and out-going, she was very much a free spirit who delighted in pushing the limits of rules and regulations– seemingly with impunity! But she also had a serious side. When she left St. Susanne’s in Missouri after sixteen years, she was quoted in the Mt. Vernon paper as saying, “We have to genuinely care about each other and go out of our way to be there for people. Otherwise we’re not living up to what we say we want to be. Caring and giving cannot be restricted to certain times of the year or the day. We have to put away our own convenience and our own fun. We have to respond as we are needed, not as we designate. If we don’t respond at the time of the need, we have already lost an opportunity.”
The people Mary Ann ministered to know that she lived by her words.
Mary Ann retired to Mt. St. Francis in 2005, where among other things, she frequently washed dishes during retreats and events at Shalom Retreat Center. In 2011 when she was no longer able to sustain her happy and energetic spirit, she moved to Clare House.
Sister was preceded in death by her parents her brothers Hubert and his wife Doris, Raymond and his wife Angela, Clarence, her sisters Isabel and husband Paul Smith, Eleanor and husband Elmo Kramer, and Magdelena and husband Clarence Miller.
Survivors: Sister is survived by her sister-in-law Angela Hackenmiller, a niece, nephews and her Franciscan sisters with whom she shared 70 years of her life.