Maria Virgo Schemanske



Sister Maria Virgo was born on Feb. 14, 1927, in Detroit. Her parents, Stanley and Clara (Perganty) Schemanske, christened her Gertrude Clare at St. Casimir Parish. The family of three daughter and two sons attended St. Boniface and Precious Blood Schools and parishes. Gertrude graduated from Immaculata High School in Detroit and entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Monroe in 1946, receiving the religious name Maria Virgo.

That same year, Sister Maria Virgo earned a bachelor’s degree from Marygrove College, followed by a master’s degree in education from Wayne State University. Her teaching career spanned 20 years at St. Joseph, Erie, Mich.; St. Joseph, Trenton, Mich., and Detroit schools, St. Patrick, St. Agnes, St. Raymond, St. Rose and St. Catherine; St. Anne, Warren, Mich.; and St. Felicitas, Chicago.

After many years of teaching, Sister Maria Virgo returned to Monroe to serve as the IHM director of retirement. This position began a shift in ministry to service and program direction that would cover more than 20 years with Monroe Senior Citizens, Inc. and Retired Senior Volunteer Program of Monroe County, Mich.

She retired in 1990 and remained an active resident of the Motherhouse, often volunteering as printer for the community. Sister Maria Virgo entered the IHM Health Care Center in 2000 and ministered as prayerful support to the community.

Sister Maria Virgo is survived by her cousin Elizabeth Reiha and nieces, Joyce Schemanske and Janet Schubring, as well as her sisters in community. She was preceded in death by her brothers, George and Erwin, and sisters, Shirley Carroll and Esther McDonald. Read the Remembering.