Grace Mary Whittaker, SCN

Posted by Spalding Hurst

December 1, 2020

Grace Mary Whittaker, SCN, 85, a native of Bradford, Massachusetts, died November 29, 2020, at the SCN Motherhouse, Nazareth, Kentucky. She was a professed Sister of Charity of Nazareth for 62 years.

After graduating high school in Boston, Massachusetts, Sister Grace Mary entered the novitiate in 1955. Among her early ministries in Kentucky, Sister Grace Mary served at the Infants’ Home in Louisville beginning in 1958; taught first and second grade 1959-1961 at St. Pius X in Calvert City; and served in the library at St. Vincent 1961-1963. She was a nurse’s assistant at the Motherhouse Infirmary 1963-1966 and 1970-1972; ministered in the Medical Records Department at Our Lady of Peace Hospital, Louisville, 1966-1967; and served at Nazareth College 1967-1970.

From 1972-1991, Sister Grace Mary served at the front desk of the Motherhouse where she greeted guests and operated the switchboard; she served again in this capacity from 1992-2002. Among her other many ministries, hospitality at the Guest House, helping in the SCN Ceramics Shop and the Thrift Shop, volunteering at St. Joe’s Montessori, and at the Visitor Center, as well as serving as a Eucharistic Minister. Sister Grace Mary helped with SCN mission trips to Appalachia and New Orleans, Louisiana. Sister Grace attended Nun Build three times, joining women religious from across the country in helping to rebuild New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

She is survived by her sisters, Ann Whittaker, SCN, and Clare; and brothers John and James; nieces and nephews, and by her religious community.

In light of the pandemic, a Memorial Mass will be held at a later date. Sister Grace Mary will be buried in the Nazareth Cemetery on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020, at 1 p.m. The prayer ritual will be filmed and shared.

Funeral Arrangements are being handled by Houghlin-Greenwell Funeral Home, 1475 New Shepherdsville Road, Bardstown, Kentucky 40004. Memorials may be offered to the Office of Mission Advancement, P.O. Box 9, Nazareth, Kentucky, 40048.

32 Comments

  1. John Loretto Mueller,SCN

    You said it ALL. Gracie was there took care of others before she fixed her

    plate.

    Reply
  2. John Loretto Mueller,SCN

    You said it ALL. Gracie was there took care of others before she fixed her

    plate. and day when our paths

    crossed you got a big hug and LOVE YOU !

    Reply
  3. John Loretto Mueller,SCN

    You said it ALL. Gracie was there took care of others before she fixed her

    plate. She and ANN were as different as night and day when our paths

    crossed you got a big hug and LOVE YOU !

    Reply
  4. John Loretto Mueller,SCN

    You said it ALL. Gracie was there took care of others before she fixed her

    plate. She and ANN were as different as night and day whe our paths

    crossed you got a big hug and IOVE YOU !

    Reply
  5. John Loretto Mueller,SCN

    You said it ALL. Gracie was there took care of others before she fixed her

    plate. She and ANN were as different as night and day whe our paths

    crossed you got a big hug and IOVE YOU !

    YOU

    Reply
  6. Father Ron Sordillo

    Sister Grace Mary – has been a long time friend since I was a semarian at Saint Mary Collage 1966-70… Although not seeing her in a long time – we communicated often with each other… Cannot believe that I just mailed her a Christmas Card yesterday – not know that she has gone on to God… Gracie was a warm, cheerful, sweet and endearing person… May she now pray for all of us from her new home. +blessings and Rest in Peace dear one.. Father Ron Sordillo – Chester, NJ

    Reply
  7. Jim Whittaker

    I will miss my dear sister, Grace. She was a kind and beautiful heart. One of the things I really loved about her was the way she loved the animals. She was like St. Francis. Miss you, Grace. Hope to see you in Heaven.

    Reply
    • John Loretto Mueller,SCN

      You said it ALL. Gracie was there took care of others before she fixed her

      plate. She and ANN were as different as night and day whe our paths

      crossed you got a big hug and IOVE YOU !

      YOU

      Reply
  8. Diana Pennington Cotton

    Gracie I have known you for 58 years and was so surprised to see your obituary. You were a sweet loving dear friend and I will miss you. Who know when we me at St. Vincent Academy we would remain life long friends. Rest in peace dear friend. My condolences to the Sisters of Charity and to sister’s family.

    Reply
  9. Rose Howard

    Gracie, you are surely enjoying God’s Beatific Vision and Presence! May the joy you radiated to others be yours. You were so special to all of us.

    Reply
  10. Douglas Campbell

    We visited Sister Grace in summer of 2019 while visiting my aunt, Sister Janice. Sister Grace was beautiful with our two little ones. Out of the blue, Marie Claire asked earlier this week if we can visit Sister Grace.
    A life of love well lived.

    Reply
  11. Kimberley (Sis) DeSimone

    Sister Grace was a great friend to my family. We loved seeing her every year when we visited my aunt. Her heartfelt kindness will be a special memory for me and my boys.

    Reply
  12. Ellen Sprigg

    I feel so blessed to have gotten to know Sr. Gracie. Her smile and kind and gentle spirit was felt from the moment I met her. She had a way of making everyone feel so loved. Rest in God’s peace Sr. Gracie.

    Reply
  13. Elizabeth Field, SCNA

    I just say, “Amen”, to all those who spoke so eloquently above of “Gracey’s” loving and gracious spirit of warmth and hospitality! I was always greeted with her happy smile and a warm hug when we’d meet at Nazareth! She did exemplify Nazareth’s spirit!

    Ann, my heart-felt sympathy to you on Grace’s transitioning to the next Life. You two have been together at Nazareth for so long making the “hole” in your heart thankful but wider.

    Blessings of peace to you!

    Reply
  14. Dot Jackson

    Gracie’s smile was always a joy to see whenever I visited Nazareth.

    The joy she shared came from a heart that was full of the Spirit of
    God. Now she can call upon the Spirit for each one of us. Dot Jackson

    Reply
  15. Connie Rotters Blake, SCNA

    During my first trip back to Nazareth after my husband died Gracie was one of the very first people to come to me, wrap her arms around me in a hug and tell me she loved me. She comforted me and I just melted into her love. And with every visit after that she would take my hands and tell me she was praying with me. I loved Gracie dearly for her simplicity, her kindness, her love, her gentleness, but most of all her smile. Now she is dancing with the Angels as she beholds the Face of God.

    Reply
  16. Clare Hayes

    Grace was my sister and I loved her dearly. I know she is in Heaven with Mom and Dad and most importantly God. I love you Grace i hope they let you shop in Heaven!

    Reply
  17. Rose Mary Gerlica,SCN

    Grace Mary has been my praying Sister from the beginning. I will miss her loving and inspiring notes. We have kept in touch throughout the years. She was so generous and caring. Already miss you Gracie.

    Reply
  18. Mary jo hamilton

    I agree with all the kinds words for. If you were having a bad day.she could fix that with her kindneess and you feel special. Nothing negative. Always on the positive side. She was a ray of sunshine

    Reply
  19. Charlotte Burns

    My companion, James Whittaker, is Grace’s youngest brother. I loved Grace like a sister and will greatly miss her visits to Massachusetts, her frequent phone calls as well as the many cards she sent. Every year we had a wonderful outing together, Jim, myself, and often our friend Jeremy who would come along because we knew the two were very fond of one another. I’ll miss those adventures. I had a slew of them planned in my head for the future. We also had wanted to make a visit to Nazareth this fall. But with COVID it was never to be. I enjoyed meeting all Grace’s friends, and was amazed how everyone in Bardstown knew her. We went on some wonderful day trips in the area together. Hopefully when our time comes, we’ll finally get together for new adventures. Grace has left a terrible hole where she once was. But her wonderful spirit lives on.

    Reply
  20. Rita D.

    I loved and appreciated Gracie for her kind and generous spirit. May she continue to bless us all from heaven.

    Reply
  21. Leena Padam

    Sr. Grace was really committed and ever ready to reach out . God blessed her with gifts and talents to serve as an SCN. I THANK God for her and ask God to bless her with Eternal Peace. My heart felt condolence to sisters and her family members who have lived with her.

    Reply
  22. Amrita SCN

    I remember Sister Grace Mary’ radiant smile and a kind word whenever we met; so gentle and friendly always. May she rest in peace.

    Reply
  23. Debra Tolbert

    Sr. Gracie i remember her beautiful spirit, alway greeting me with a smile, that changes anybody day. I love you Sr. Grace and miss you Debbie

    Reply
  24. Phelomena Hembrom

    Sister Grace Mary I remember her when our group went to U. S.A. She had always a smiling face. Once some of us visited her bedroom. She introduced all the things of the room. She was ever welcoming us. She was gentle, gracious and loving. May she rest in peace.

    Reply
  25. Sister Luke

    For me, Gracie exemplified the virtues of humility, simplicity and charity. She was so kind and hospitable. Her eyes danced with laughter and her smile would light up a room. I was so glad she was able to travel with our SCN volunteers to Appalachia and New Orleans. The people we served fell in love with her.

    Reply
  26. Holly Lemieux

    Grace could light up a room with her smile. Always complimenting everyone and making them feel so special! She made me laugh also with her humor. One of the kindest souls I know. I was blessed to have known her and call her friend.

    Reply
    • Anne O'Shea

      We had good times when Grace came to visit Brockton in August and for Christmas each year.
      I am also grateful for one of her favorite ministries…for several years she cared for our beloved Barbara Thomas. Grace was honored to be with her and to support Donna and, of course, their friendly dogs.
      May Gracie enjoy her transformation💝

      Reply
  27. Ellen Roche

    She was Auntie Grace to me, my husband, and my children and we loved her very much ❤️. We will miss her summer and Christmas visits to our home In Massachusetts.

    Reply
  28. Monica Boggs

    Some of the words that come to mind to describe Sr. Gracie include kind, gracious and humble. She taught me so much by her example. She was dearly loved. I will miss her.

    Reply
  29. Denise hibel

    I remember Grace so well for her gracious hospitality when she served at the switchboard when I volunteered at the Villages before we merged. She was always so kind to me. What a beautiful Sister. May she rest in peace.

    Reply

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