1934 – 2013

PORTLAND — Sr. Mona Louise Hecker (Sr. Mary Patrice) died at St. Joseph’s Residence, on Friday, Nov. 1, after a long illness.

She was born in Lewiston, the daughter of Herbert and Denise Thibodeau Hecker. She graduated from Lewiston High School in 1952 and earned her B.S. degree from St. Joseph’s College. Sr. Mona entered the Sisters of Mercy from St. Joseph’s Parish in 1954 and prior to this, she was employed by Androscoggin County Clerk of Courts Office in Auburn.

As a teacher and principal, Sr. Mona taught in several parochial schools in Maine for 25 years. During these years her ministry assignments included: Cathedral Elementary School, Portland; St. Edward’s School, Bar Harbor; St. Mary’s School, Augusta; St. Joseph’s School, Farmington; St. Mary’s School, Westbrook; St. Dominic’s School, Portland; St. John’s School, Bangor; Holy Cross School, South Portland and St. Joseph’s School, Lewiston. In 1984, Sr. Mona spent a year at Mangrove Cay, Andros Island in the Bahamas where she joined the Sisters in pastoral work. During this time, she also shared her talents in sewing and knitting with the women on the island.

After her career in education, Sr. Mona’s ministry took her to Mercy Hospital, where she worked in the Patient and Family Services Department. In this position, Sr. Mona ministered to the many serious and urgent needs. In an article she wrote, Sr. Mona echoed the words of our Foundress, Catherine McAuley, “it is good for us to be here.” She served in this capacity for 11 years before retiring in 1998 to St. Joseph’s Motherhouse where she volunteered for various and sundry duties. In 2004, Sr. Mona moved to Deering Pavilion where she enjoyed once again meeting others and reaching out to them. As her health declined, Sr. Mona moved to Frances Warde Convent where she continued to share her caring spirit and good humor. It was these same qualities that also endeared her to the staff at St. Joseph’s Residence. This was evidenced before and after she died by the number of staff who stopped in to say their goodbyes. Sr. Mona’s life of faithfulness was sustained by the spirit of her religious motto “Love Returns Love.”

She is survived by her sisters, Rose Marie Hinkle, Virginia, and Gloria Donovan, Florida; her brothers and their wives, Ronald and Marilyn Hecker, Lewiston, Anthony and Luz Hecker, Phillipines, Michael and Ruth Hecker, Michigan, Joseph Hecker, Florida, Gerard Hecker, Lewiston, and a sister-in-law, Cecile Hecker, Arizona; and her many nieces, nephews and their families as well as her Sisters in community.

In addition to her parents, Sr. Mona was predeceased by her siblings, Herbert Hecker and Francis Hecker.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.ctcrawford.com.

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