Sr. Kathleen Cleary, OSF, of Clinton, Iowa, passed away Saturday, April 24, 2021 at the Alverno. A private Mass will be held. Burial will be in St. Irenaeus Calvary Cemetery. The Pape Funeral Home is assisting.

Kathleen Irene Cleary was born October 23, 1940 in Columbus, Ohio, the eldest of the twelve children of Patrick Joseph and Ruth Mae (Ware) Cleary. She had three brothers, Patrick, Philip John, and Anthony, and eight sisters, Mary Nell, Marjorie, Charla, Teresa, Sheila, Ruth Ann, Molly, and Emma Lucretia.

She entered the Sisters of St. Francis at Mount St. Clare Convent, Clinton on September 8, 1958 and received the name Mary Philip at her reception on June 15, 1959. She later resumed her baptismal name. She made her first profession on August 12, 1961 and her final profession on August 12, 1964.

She completed elementary, middle and the first two years of high school at Catholic schools in Colorado prior to graduating from Mount St. Clare Academy in 1958. She received a B.A. in Elementary Education at Marycrest College, Davenport, Iowa, and later completed a Master of Arts degree in Religious Education at The University of Seattle, Seattle, WA. She also earned a Master of Science degree in Counseling & Psychology from California Baptist University, Riverside, California. She held an Iowa Professional Teaching Certificate.

Sister Kathleen taught 1st and 2nd grades at St. Mary’s School in Carrollton, Missouri from 1961-69, and was director of the Mount St. Clare Preschool for the next eight years. For the remainder of her active ministry, she was missioned in California. She taught primary grade children at St. Margaret Mary School in Chino and at St. Catherine of Alexandria, Riverside. She also directed the Extended Day Program at St. Catherine’s in Riverside, and for many years, she served as librarian, counselor, and assistant principal at St. Margaret’s, Chino.

Sr. Kathleen retired at The Canticle in November 2019 and moved to the Alverno in July 2020. She continued to minister to everyone around her through her cheerful spirit, her positive attitude, and her openness to all she met.

Sr. Kathleen was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Charla, and her brother-in-law Robert Holmes, as well as her great aunts Clinton Franciscans Sr. Brendan, Sr. Winefride, and Mother Regis Cleary.

She is survived by her brothers, Patrick (Chris), Philip John (Jill), and Anthony Edward (Joyce) Cleary; her sisters, Mary Nell Cleary, Marjorie Holmes, Teresa Margiotti, Sheila (Gary) Saxton, Ruth Ann (Thomas) Marsh, Molly Cleary, and Emma Lucretia Foster; nieces and nephews and the Sisters of St. Francis with whom she shared life for over 62 years.