Marie Gabriel Hungerman, IHM

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Sister Marie Gabriel Hungerman, IHM, 92, died Tuesday, June 27, at her home, the IHM Motherhouse. She had recently become ill and moved into the IHM Health Care Center.

Sister Marie Gabriel was one of three daughters and four sons born to Clement and Edna (Makary) Hungerman of Chester, Pa. Born on May 20, 1925, she was baptized Marie Louise. The family moved to Detroit, where the children attended St. Agnes elementary and high schools. After high school graduation, Marie entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Monroe, and received the religious name Marie Gabriel.

Upon entering the community, she began studies and earned a bachelor’s degree from Marygrove College, Detroit. Her early teaching found her at St. Gregory, Gesu and Holy Redeemer, Detroit; and at St. Mary, Monroe. Doctoral studies took her to St. Louis University, St. Louis, where she achieved a doctorate in philosophy in 1960. This allowed her to teach at the collegiate level at Marygrove College for 11 years and at Siena Heights College in Adrian for four years. Within those years, she also served as academic dean, dean of the college, associate professor and chairperson of the philosophy department.

In 1976, Sister Marie Gabriel focused on congregational service as she became first assistant to the president of the IHM congregation. She held this position for six years before joining the faculty of Nazareth College where she served for seven years. After enjoying a one-year sabbatical at Catholic Schools of Hawaii in Kaneohe, Hawaii, Sister Marie Gabriel joined the faculty of Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo. A gifted educator, she received many honors for outstanding contributions in the field of educational leadership.

In 1995, Sister Marie Gabriel moved to Monroe, and at age 70, accepted appointment as IHM Theological Education Project director. This encompassing educational program was attended by congregational members over several summer sessions. In 2000, she began service as director of the IHM Congregational Library/Resource Center, retiring from this position in 2008. After moving into the Motherhouse in March 2008, Sister Marie Gabriel was always working on a project of interest for the community: a gifted writer and theologian, 10 years on the planning committee for “Many Stories, One Community” reading project and as a provider of spiritual poetry to many in the community.

Sister Marie Gabriel is survived by her sister, Ann Hungerman, nieces and nephews and her sisters in community. She was preceded in death by her sister, John Clement Hungerman, IHM, and her brothers, Clement, Paul, Ronald and John.

Read her Remembering.