Sr. Mary Kay Dum spent her entire adulthood as a Sister of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary who took her gifts in early childhood education across the country.

Sr. Mary Kay Dum, BVM (1933-2017)

She passed away Nov. 8 at the age of 84. Sr. Mary Kay entered the BVM congregation shortly after turning 18 and professed final vows eight years later. The Oklahoma native taught elementary school in her home state alongside Chicago, Washington, Iowa and Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in Tempe. She taught second grade there for the 1961-1962 school year.

Sr. Mary Kay served as director of the Barrio Preschool in Phoenix from 1970-72. She was also involved in Montessori education, first as a teacher in three coastal San Diego communities and later as a Montessori school volunteer.

She also administered the Migrant Headstart Programs in Orlando and West Palm Beach, Florida, in Durham, North Carolina, and in three southern California communities.

East Coast Migrant Head Start Project

Of her time there with the children, the BVM community recalled Sr. Mary Kay saying, “If we can help them learn how to learn, they will be self-educating for the rest of their lives.”

Sr. Mary Kay was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by a sister, two brothers, an aunt, nieces, a nephew and the Sisters of Charity, BVM, with whom she shared life for 66 years.

Memorials may be given to the Sisters of Charity, BVM Support Fund, 1100 Carmel Drive, Dubuque, Iowa 52003, or online.