Sr. Ann Isabelle Tefend, IHM, 94, died Saturday, Dec. 29, at her home, the IHM Motherhouse in Monroe.
Sister Ann Isabelle was born on April 19, 1924, to Frederick and Amelia (Downey) Tefend of Detroit, and named Isabelle Catherine. The family moved to Trenton, Michigan, where Isabelle attended Trenton Public School, graduated from Slocum-Truax High School and went on to study at Marygrove College in Detroit.
In 1950, Isabelle entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, of Monroe and received the religious name, Sister Ann Isabelle. Upon completing her bachelor’s degree, she began her teaching ministry in Michigan at St. Joseph, Erie; SS. Peter and Paul, Ionia; Holy Trinity Detroit; and St. Michael, Flint. Continuing into high school and business education, she taught at St. Vincent de Paul and Pontiac Catholic Central, Pontiac; Marian High School, Bloomfield Hills; St. Gabriel Richard, Riverview; and St. Mary Academy, Monroe. During this time, Sister Ann Isabelle earned a master’s degree in education from Wayne State University, Detroit.
In 1977, Sister Ann Isabelle was missioned in religious education to the Diocese of Navrongo, Ghana, West Africa. After several years, she returned to the United States and taught at Monroe Community College, Monroe Catholic Central High School, Our Lady Star of the Sea, Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.; and Bishop Borgess High School, Redford, Mich. She excelled as a business teacher, loved music and playing the violin and enjoyed writing poetry.
After leaving education, Sister Ann Isabelle enjoyed various ministries: finance director at Bishop Borgess High School; school secretary at Our Lady of Grace School, Dearborn Heights, Mich.; adult care-giver; pharmacy aide and assistant to the IHM Development Office. While she retired to the Motherhouse in 1999, Sister Ann Isabelle remained active and assisted with many community works.
Sister Ann Isabelle is survived by her brother, Frederick Tefend, nieces, nephews and her sisters in community. She was preceded in death by her brother, Archie, and sisters, Mary Jane Peer and Marcia A. Wojtylko.
Visitation will be held at the IHM Motherhouse, 610 W. Elm Ave., Monroe, on Friday, Jan. 4, beginning at 9 a.m. A Remembering and Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in the Chapel at 10 a.m. Burial of cremains will take place at a later date in St. Mary Cemetery. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Rupp Funeral Home, Monroe. Memorials may be made to the IHM Retirement Fund, 610 W. Elm Ave., Monroe, MI 48162-7909.