Rachel Willett, SCN

Posted by Spalding Hurst

June 6, 2016

Rachel-Willett-5ab4b29c2f3935c3c56aae3ff7bb6f5eRachel Willett, SCN, formerly Sister Jerome Willett, 94, a native of Fancy Farm, Kentucky, died at Nazareth Home, Louisville on Thursday, June 2, 2016. She had been a Sister of Charity of Nazareth for 73 years.

Sister Rachel served in elementary and secondary education as both teacher and principal in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Arkansas for almost 40 years. Sister also taught for a short while at Spalding College in Louisville and Paducah Community College. Sister served from 1983-86 in Diocesan Ministry as Secretary to Bishop John McRaith of Owensboro, Kentucky; and from 1988-94 in Community Service as Secretary to Emily Nabholz, SCN, President of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. Sister Rachel collaborated with Patricia Kelley, SCN, in writing the biography of Mother Mary Catharine Malone, and with SCNs Patricia Kelley and Elaine McCarron in writing the biography of Mother Ann Sebastian Sullivan. Both these biographies can be found in the series, “Impelled by the Love of Christ.”

Survivors include one brother, J. Emmanuel Willett, Ph.D. of Crestview Hills, Kentucky; two sisters, Lenora Turney of Annandale, Virginia, and Celeste Russell of Paducah, Kentucky; many nieces and nephews, and her religious community.

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, June 7, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. followed by burial in Nazareth Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 1:30-2:30 p.m. at Nazareth Home on Monday, June 6, 2016, and after 4 p.m. in St. Vincent Church, Nazareth, Ky. There will be a Prayer Service in St. Vincent Church at 6:30 p.m. Monday evening.

Funeral Arrangements are being handled by Ratterman Funeral Home, 3800 Bardstown Road, Louisville, Kentucky. Memorials may be made to Office of Congregational Advancement, P.O. Box 9, Nazareth, KY 40048.


  1. Greg

    Sr Rachel taught me English Literature at Owensboro Catholic High. She was such a wonderful teacher. She really inculcated a love of the subject in her students. I regret that I never wrote her a thank you note when I got older to tell her how much her class meant to me.

    • Eleanor Grant

      I agree with you. Sr. Jerome was special. She was a loving, happy person and a breath of fresh air among the nuns at catholic high. I loved her.


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