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Remembering Sister Myra Skebe

Posted December 23, 2021 in Obituaries

Sister Myra Skebe was a woman of varied talents. In remembering her, catch the scent of fresh baking, see the colors of the rainbow, and notice the delicate work of a palm cross crafted in loving faith. Picture her teaching children in a classroom, serving at the diocese and in parish work, and using her skills to assist the congregation.  All of this was done in a spirit of dedication and kindness.

Rosemary Skebe was born in 1929 in Cleveland, Ohio to Rose and Charles, the youngest of nine children. She spent much of her youth in Cleveland, attending St. Mary School and Church in Collinwood. For a time her family left Cleveland and lived in Venango, PA, where she delighted in farm living and attending a one room schoolhouse.  In fact, she attributed much of her success as a teacher to that educational experience. Back home to Cleveland they came where Rosemary has lived, learned and served for so many years.

In addition to St. Mary’s as a child, Rosemary also attended Villa Angela Academy in her high school years.  After graduation in 1947, she entered the congregation from St. Joseph, also in the Collinwood area.  As Sister Myra, she continued her education at Ursuline College and St. John College, earning both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Education. 

Schools, parishes and the diocesan offices were well served by Sister Myra through the decades.  She taught in primary grades at St. Jerome, St. Charles, St. Mary Magdalene, Immaculate Conception (Cleveland), and St. Francis de Sales.  Religious education was at the heart of Sister Myra’s ministry.  She worked in the Diocesan Religious Education department for a number of years and then was invited to Sacred Heart Parish in Oberlin where catechesis remained her focus.

At an age when many of her contemporaries retired from their jobs, Sister Myra developed and became the state director for the Rainbows program, a branch of an international grief support organization. Her leadership enabled the founding of a number of programs in schools and churches in the diocese, supporting children through the grief of divorce, death and other painful transitions.

As her work with Rainbows drew to a close after 13 years, Sister Myra continued to serve at the motherhouse in the Treasurer’s Office, in the Laurel Tree Gift Shop and as assistant to the local motherhouse coordinator.  While actively engaged in all of these pursuits, she continued to bake and to painstakingly create palm crosses to aid in the devotions of those committed to prayer. Her generosity and selflessness were woven into every act of service, every loaf of bread and every palm cross.

Sister Myra spent her final years at Regina Health Center where she ministered in prayer and service.  Even after her death at age 92, 73 years as an Ursuline sister, she will be remembered fondly by her nieces, a nephew, former students and her religious sisters for her love of community and dedication to family and faith.

Funeral arrangements for Myra are as follows:

Funeral Mass: 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, December 29th, St. Francis of Assisi, Gates Mills. No visitation. Masks are required.  You may also participate via livestream by accessing the St. Francis website or directly: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN63nm7hpEBZ6Ghj2Q2Vo6g

Memorial donations may be made to the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland: www.ursulinesisters.org