A funeral Mass for Sister Mary Joan Dyer, CPPS, was celebrated May 10. Sister Mary Joan died May 6. She was 95 years old.
Sister Mary Joan was born in Millwood on Aug. 14, 1926, and was baptized the next day, receiving the name Mary Ann. She was the second of four children of Howard and Mary (Schneidler) Dyer.
She entered the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood’s novitiate in 1943 and professed first vows on Aug. 10, 1945, as Sister Mary Joan. She completed a bachelor’s degree at Fontbonne College (now University) and a master’s degree at Middlebury College in Vermont, both in French.
Sister Mary Joan loved everything French, including her patron, St. Joan of Arc. She treasured the opportunities she had to visit and study in France as well as the friendships she developed there. The chance to converse in French was a delight for her.
She taught elementary school through college. In Missouri, she served at Sacred Heart in Florissant; St. Domenico Home, Holy Family School (as teacher and principal) and Bishop DuBourg High School, all in St. Louis; and at St. Mary’s College in O’Fallon. Outside of Missouri, she taught at St. James School in Crete, Nebraska; St. Joseph School in Des Moines, Iowa; St. Charles Academy in Stratton, Colorado; and The English School in Helsinki, Finland. After returning from Finland, Sister Mary Joan served as secretary to the congregational administration and later as congregational archivist.
She was a highly organized and exceptionally creative teacher, always willing to give students extra help. As a principal, she provided her teachers with an atmosphere that allowed for their creativity.
Sister Mary Joan was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Howard and Robert Dyer and her half-brother, Louis Bonnarens.