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“I was a client of her's and my mother knew her. She was always kind to me as I was growing up back in the 1970s. ”
1 of 1 | Posted by: James Scianna - San Jose, CA

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Sister Ethel Dignan, BVM (Howard), 94, of 1050 Carmel Drive, Dubuque, Iowa, passed away Thursday, June 14, 2018, at Marian Hall.

Visitation will be 9-10:15 a.m. on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, at the Marian Hall Chapel, followed immediately by the Sharing of Memories and the Mass of Christian Burial. Burial is in the Mt. Carmel Cemetery.

Sister Ethel was a psychology professor and department chair at Clarke University in Dubuque and a psychologist at the Dubuque Community Health Center. She was a psychologist in Chicago, San Jose, Calif., and Los Gatos, Calif., where she also served as director of a mental health center. She volunteered in Hispanic ministry in Los Angeles and San Jose, Calif.

She was born in Chicago on May 19, 1924, to Francis and Mary Jane Sullivan Dignan. She entered the BVM congregation Feb. 14, 1950, from St. Francis Xavier Parish in New York City. She professed first vows on Aug. 15, 1952, and final vows on Aug. 15, 1957.

She was preceded in death by her parents; sisters Dee McMinn and Patricia Dignan; and brothers Thomas and Francis, both in childhood. She is survived by nieces, grandnieces, grandnephews, and the Sisters of Charity, BVM, with whom she shared life for 68 years.

Memorials may be given to Sisters of Charity, BVM Support Fund, 1100 Carmel Drive, Dubuque, IA 52003 or online at