March 30, 2007


Please submit in writing to our office by 10 a.m. Thursday before the week of publication; be sure to state date of death. Obituaries of archdiocesan priests serving our archdiocese are listed elsewhere in The Criterion. Order priests and religious sisters and brothers are included here, unless they are natives of the archdiocese or have other connections to it; those are separate obituaries on this page.

Submit an obituary here (parishes and funeral homes only)

BROCKMAN, Joseph B., 88, St. Paul, Tell City, March 13. Husband of Leona (Smith) Brockman. Father of Deanna Alvey, Randy and Thomas Brockman. Brother of Irene Theising. Grandfather of seven. Step-grandfather of three. Great-grandfather of eight. Step-great-grandfather of two.

BUCHBERGER, Donald, 81, St. Lawrence, Lawrenceburg, March 19. Husband of Helen Buchberger. Father of James and Robert Buchberger. Brother of Dorothy Lawrence. Step-grandfather of two. Step-great-grandfather of four.

DERLETH, Mary E. (Sweeney), 90, St. Mark the Evangelist, Indianapolis, March 18. Mother of Patricia Hill, Michael and Tom Derleth. Grandmother of five. Step-grandmother of four. Great-grandmother of seven. Step-great-grandmother of five.

DONAHUE, Bridget C., 24, St. Mary, Lanesville, March 12. Mother of Peyton Wigginton. Daughter of Mary Donahue. Sister of Logan Donahue. Granddaughter of Grace McKnight and Thomas Donahue.

GORMAN, John, 57, Holy Cross, Indianapolis, Feb. 19. Brother of Jenny Donahue.

GRAHAM, George P., 93, St. Paul, Tell City, March 10. Father of Gail Hoesli. Grandfather of nine. Great-grandfather of 17. Great-great-grandfather of 10.

HENDREN, H. Bernice, 91, St. Simon the Apostle, Indianapolis, March 15. Mother of Paula Oliver, Patricia Schinbeckler, Jane Ann Stierwalt, Dorothy, Alan and Mark Hendren. Sister of John R. Davis. Grandmother of 20. Great-grandmother of 21. Great-great-grandmother of one.

HEPPNER, Clara T., 89, Holy Family, Oldenburg, March 16. Mother of Charles and Glen Heppner. Grandmother of five. Great-grandmother of one.

KOCHERT, Lulu Mae, 92, St. Mary, Lanesville, March 15. Mother of Rosemary Fanning, Bernice Hatfield, Monica Huber, Norma Roddy, Franciscan Sister Marlene Kochert, Kathleen, Cletus and Lester Kochert. Sister of Irene and Marcella Naville, Marie and Rosette Smith. Grandmother of 12. Great-grandmother of 14.

KRUER, Theodore W., Sr., 79, St. Mary-of-the-Knobs, Floyds Knobs, March 17. Husband of Mildred Kruer. Father of Michael, Ray, Ted and Tom Kruer. Brother of Alice Eickhoff, Irene Schmelz and Frank Kruer. Grandfather of nine. Great-grandfather of six.

MAGEE, Jane, 49, St. Anne, Hamburg, March 20. Mother of Adam Magee. Sister of Linda Luken, Pauline Murrie, Marilyn Norton, Rosemary Rudolf, Harold, Ray, Ronald and William Effing.

SENSBACK, Dorothy E. (Smith), 73, Our Lady of the Greenwood, Greenwood, March 19. Mother of Diane Thiesing and Donald Sensback. Grandmother of six. Great-grandmother of five.

SHEARN, Andrew, infant, St. Paul, Tell City, Feb. 28. Son of Nathan and Myra (Rice) Shearn. Grandson of Marsha Groves, Steven and Jo Ann Shearn.

SMITH, Leonard D., 92, Prince of Peace, Madison, March 14. Father of Kathy Braun, Susan Heritage, L. David, Michael and Wayne Smith. Grandfather of six. Great-grandfather of six.

SOWERS, Dale Phillip, 65, St. Michael the Archangel, Indianapolis, March 3. Brother of William Sowers.

VALENZUELA, Dr. Diego, Sr., 85, Most Sorrowful Mother of God, Vevay, March 17. Husband of Fidelia Valenzuela. Father of Noeline Gullion, Sonia Quast, Diego Jr., Oscar, Pio and Vincent Valenzuela. Brother of Alice Lozada. Grandfather of eight.

WISSENBERGER, Joseph, 66, Holy Cross, Indianapolis, March 10. Husband of Diane Wissenberger. Father of Kathleen and Jeff Wissenberger. Brother of Marjory Baughman and Kathleen Harrington. Grandfather of one. Great-grandfather of one.

Charity Sister Thomas More Rybarsyk was vice principal at Cathedral High School

Charity Sister Thomas More Rybarsyk, a former vice principal at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, died on March 15 at Mother Margaret Hall at Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati. She was 83.

During Sister Thomas More’s tenure from 1984-99, Cathedral High School was named one of the finest private secondary schools in the country by the U.S. Department of Education.

The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on March 24 at the Immaculate Conception Chapel at the motherhouse. Burial followed at the Sisters of Charity cemetery.

The former Barbara Jane Rybarsyk was born on Oct. 11, 1923, in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Sister Thomas More earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati in 1952, a Master of Arts degree in Sociology at the University of Detroit in 1961 and a Master of Arts degree in Guidance and Education at Wittenberg University in 1968.

She had two ministries as a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati as an educator and administrator, and as a secondary school counselor.

Sister Thomas More taught at St. Raphael School in Springfield, Ohio, from 1947-48; St. Michael School in Findlay, Ohio, from 1948-50; St. Mel School in Cleveland from 1950-52; and Holy Name School in Cleveland from 1952-54. She also taught history at Shrine High School in Royal Oak, Mich., from 1954-57.

With a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Sociology and a master’s degree in Guidance and Education, Sister Thomas More chose to leave the classroom to become a high school counselor at Catholic Central High School in Springfield, Ohio, from 1957-68.

She also served one year at Lumen Christi High School in Jackson, Mich., from 1969-70, where she established the school’s first Guidance Department.

Sister Thomas More also ministered at Elizabeth Seton High School in South Holland, Ill., from 1969-74 then at St. Philip High School in Battle Creek, Mich., from 1974-77.

Education called again in 1977 when Sister Thomas More began a new career as assistant principal at Catholic Central High School in her hometown of Lansing, Mich., where she served from 1977-80.

Sister Thomas More ministered as assistant principal at Bishop Flaget High School in Chillicothe, Ohio, from 1980-84.

During her 60 years as a woman religious, Sister Thomas More studied and ministered in the Amazon rain forest through the University of Brazil as a Fulbright Scholar in 1964.

She also visited Nazi death camps in Poland and witnessed the poverty conditions in Mexico, Hungary and Barbados.

When Sister Thomas More retired to the Sisters of Charity motherhouse in 1999, she began her volunteer ministry as a counselor at Seton High School in the Price Hill neighborhood of Cincinnati.

Susan Gibbons, the Seton High School principal, said Catholic education was a mission and a vocation for Sister Thomas More.

“She had vision and insight because of her vast years of experience,” Gibbons said. “She was an intellectual, mentor, confidant and friend to everyone at Seton High School. She was a wise woman who simply wanted students to succeed and realize their potential. She loved her students. We miss her greatly.”

Charity Sister Mary Patrice Mahoney remembered Sister Thomas More as a faithful and true friend.

“Her life, spirit, love and generosity extended to so many,” Sister Mary Patrice said. “Lighthearted humor and fun-loving ways endeared her to all who knew her. She was an inspiring example of ‘Life is Worth Living.’ ”

Charity Sister Ruth Hunt said Sister Thomas More “was a unique, joyful, generous, fun-loving person.

“She had a special relationship with all of the sisters she lived with, worked with and loved,” Sister Ruth said. “I think we each knew her in a different way. She had been a friend since 1946. She has been a beloved friend since I came to the Mount five years ago. She will leave a gigantic hole.”

She is survived by a brother, Frank Rybarsyk, and nieces and nephews.

Memorial gifts may be made in Sister Thomas More Rybarsyk’s name to the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati Retirement Fund, 5900 Delhi Road, Mount St. Joseph, Ohio 45051. †

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