October 2, 1944 - January 26, 2018
Sister Donna Marie Crochet, a Sister of St. Mary of Namur, died at Marian House in Fort Worth on January 26, 2018.
Sister Donna Marie was born in Houston, Texas on October 24, 1944, to Romeil Antoin Crochet and Jimmie Rosamund Love Crochet. She attended Resurrection Catholic School where she met the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur. Sister Donna Marie entered the order in 1963 and received the religious name of Sister Agatha. She began her studies at TWU in Fort Worth, and obtained a BA in English at Dominican College in Houston. She taught primary grades in Sisters of Saint Mary Schools in Fort Worth, Houston and Dallas.
Sister Donna Marie proved her versatility by, at various times, caring for AIDS babies, serving at Magnificat House in Houston, supervising a day home for Catholic Charities and by serving as superior at OLV as well as supervisor of the kitchen and infirmary at OLV.
The longest service she gave was to St. Cecilia School in Dallas’ Oak Cliff neighborhood, teaching kindergarteners and then four year olds for 30 years. St. Cecilia’s School was begun by Msgr. Robinson to meet the educational needs of Mexican and Central American immigrants coming into the North Oak Cliff area. The Sisters of St. Mary originally staffed the four room school. Sister Donna Marie began with one kindergarten class of 25—and soon discovered that at least three classes were needed! With the assistance of Kathy Prindible and Sister Mary Merdian, Provincial, the school expanded into two kindergarten classes of 25 students each, and then added a pre-kindergarten/day care to teach English to four year olds.
The school has grown to 15 classrooms, a media center, a gym and cafetorium. The enrollment is over 90% Hispanic and serves a mid-to low-income population.
Sister Donna Marie enjoyed the perks of teaching four year olds: no report cards, no IQ tests, lots of nap times and videos. What is not to like?
Sister Donna Marie served as principal of St. Cecilia School for a year after the school had gone through a series of unsatisfactory principals. She was the stabilizing force until the school found the best leader in Lydia Torres.
Participation in Congregational General Chapters in Namur, Belgium, provided an opportunity for Sister Donna Marie to make a wide acquaintance of Sisters of St. Mary from other nations and cultures. All the delegates participated in cleaning, cooking, welcoming, entertaining, meeting, taking notes and minutes. And–best of all–shopping the downtown markets. Highlights were the frequent and most enjoyable “daytrips” to the surrounding beautiful and historical areas of Belgium and the Low Countries.
In 2014 Sister Donna Marie returned to Fort Worth to share her energy assisting in the coordination of Our Lady of Victory Center. She substituted at Our Lady of Victory School on several occasions. Sister also served on Provincial and Local House Councils in Fort Worth, and on the Saint Cecilia School Board.
Sister Donna Marie is survived by three sisters, a brother, numerous family members and the Sisters of her religious congregation as well as many friends with whom she formed happy, hopeful, peaceful communities.