Sr. Martha Jean McGarry, IHM, 82, died on Friday, April 19, in hospice care at IHM Senior Living Center, in Monroe.
Sister Martha Jean came from a large family of 12 children born to George and Martha Ann (Joerger) McGarry. She was born Feb. 14, 1928 and baptized Catherine at St. Martin, Yorkville, Ind. After attending Gesu Elementary School and graduating from Immaculata High School in Detroit, she entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Monroe in 1955. She received the religious name, Sister Martha Jean.
Sister Martha Jean earned a bachelor’s degree at Marygrove College and began her teaching ministry at Mother of Our Savior, Detroit, for several years before moving to the western United States to teach at Our Lady of Assumption, Albuquerque, N.M. During this time, she studied at the University of New Mexico and earned a master’s degree. New Mexico was her home for more than 45 years with her career spent at Our Lady of Assumption and the Catholic Charismatic Center, Albuquerque.
The early years were spent in formal education. In the early 1980s, she embraced pastoral ministry as a pastoral assistant in the parish, and as staff, and later as director of the Catholic Charismatic Center. She gained further education and developed skills as a spiritual director and in 2008, became the bishop’s liaison for the center.
After retiring to the Motherhouse in 2010, she renewed old friendships, served as a community representative in governance and served as sacristan for the community. She enjoyed many new relationships from her service on various team projects.
Sister Martha Jean is survived by her sister, Patricia Jarosz, two nieces and a nephew and her sisters in community. She was preceded in death by sisters Elizabeth, Marion and Martha Ann; and brothers Lawrence, John, George, Michael, Richard, Robert and Joseph.
Visitation will be held at the IHM Motherhouse, 610 W. Elm Avenue, Monroe, on Tuesday, April 23, beginning at 9 a.m. A Remembering and Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 10 a.m. The burial of cremains will take place at a future date. 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.