Sr. Virginia Celmer, IHM, died Nov. 26, 2020, at the IHM Motherhouse. She was 75 years old. 

Virginia was born in Detroit on June 26, 1945, to Charles and Stella (Kopicko) Celmer. As a young student, Virginia attended St. Luke and Immaculata High School, where she came to know the IHM Sisters of Monroe. After graduation in 1963, she entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and received the name Sister Marie Amata. She was later known to many as Sister Ginny.  

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, services will be private at the IHM Motherhouse Chapel on Wednesday, Dec. 2.
Sr. Virginia Celmer, IHM

After earning a bachelor’s degree from Marygrove College, Sister Ginny instructed students in religious education, social studies and psychology at St. Mary, Monroe; Marian High School, Bloomfield Hills, Immaculate Heart of Mary High School, Westchester, Ill., and St. Thomas the Apostle High School, Aurora, Ill. During these years, she earned a master’s degree from St. Louis University, which led to her transition into health care services as a chaplain at Mercy Center for Health Care Services. This led her into graduate study of psychology at Texas Tech University. She earned her doctoral degree in 1986 and served for five years as a psychologist at the Consultation Center in San Antonio. Sister Ginny operated a private licensed clinical psychology practice for more than 20 years in San Antonio and was esteemed by her professional colleagues. 

Health concerns led her to close the practice and return to the IHM Motherhouse as a resident of IHM Senior Living Community in 2014. She renewed many friendships within the community, maintained long-distance friendships and encountered new friendships with many of the staff on the Monroe Campus with her quick wit and wisdom. 

Sister Ginny is survived by her sisters in community and many dear friends.  

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, services will be private at the IHM Motherhouse Chapel on Wednesday, Dec. 2. The services will be Livestreamed beginning at 10 a.m. at https://bit.ly/36kG4kW and may be viewed until Dec. 23. Arrangements were 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.

Obituaries for clergy and religious who have lived or served in the Archdiocese of Detroit may be emailed to DCobits@aod.org. Obituaries are printed as they are submitted, but may be edited for grammar and style. Detroit Catholic reserves the right to refuse or edit any submissions.