Sr. Marilynn A. Mechtenberg, IHM, 85, died Friday, July 26, at her home, IHM Senior Living Community in Monroe.

The only child of Dr. William and Mrs. Arline (Capper) Mechtenberg was born Dec. 10, 1933, in Durant, Iowa, and was baptized, Marilynn Ann, on Christmas Eve 1933. As a youngster, she accompanied her father on house calls in rural Iowa. After her father died when she was 7, mother and daughter moved to be near family in Illinois. Marilynn attended Morrison Grade School. They later moved to West Palm Beach, Fla., to ease Marilynn’s childhood tuberculosis. There, she attended St. Ann and the Rosarian Academy while her mother taught school. Her mother’s marriage to an Air Force officer led to frequent moves. Marilynn’s school experiences ranged from Dewitt, Iowa, to Troy, Ohio, to Mt. Clemens, Mich. A time of world travel followed graduation from St. Mary High School. She then earned a bachelor’s degree from Marygrove College in 1955 and entered the field of teaching.

Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at the IHM Motherhouse, 610 W. Elm Ave., Monroe, on Thursday, Aug. 1.
Sr. Marilynn A. Mechtenberg, IHM

In 1956, she entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Monroe, and received the religious name, Sister Veronica Marie. Her ministry began in elementary education at St. Mary of Redford, Detroit; St. John Vianney, Highland Park; St. John, Fenton; St. Mathew, Flint; and St. Regis, Bloomfield Hills. During these years, she earned a master’s degree from the University of Detroit.

Sister Marilynn expanded her ministry to high school education at Immaculate Heart of Mary, Westchester, Ill.; social justice endeavors; community service; parish ministry; and adult education. She taught French and Spanish languages, tutored young and adult students and taught English as a Second Language for the Detroit Board of Education and at Glendale Community College, Glendale, Ariz. While in Arizona, she cared for her elderly mother.    

In 1994, Sister Marilynn returned to Michigan and lived at the IHM Motherhouse. She enjoyed art, music performance, writing poetry and volunteering in community services, especially the community library and resource center. Sister Marilynn is survived by several cousins and her sisters in community.

Visitation will be held at the IHM Motherhouse, 610 W. Elm Ave., Monroe, on Thursday, Aug. 1, beginning at 9 a.m. A Remembering and Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 10 a.m. According to Sister Marilynn’s wishes, green burial will take place in St. Mary Cemetery on the IHM Campus. 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.


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