Sr. Lavonne Long O.S.F.
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Sr. Lavonne Long O.S.F.
Growing up, Sr. Lavonne was close to her father who was an exceptional husband and conscientious citizen, however his lack of religious affiliation greatly concerned her. When she was old enough to question him about the matter, he responded, "I just have to be good to others."
Religion was not an issue in the Long family until Sr. Lavonne decided to enter the Franciscan community following graduation from Rushville High School and a year at Marian College in Indianapolis. She recalled, "The most difficult part of the seven years separation from her family that followed was knowing that she was the instrument of pain to those she loved most." She and her father would eventually reconcile and he was baptized into the Catholic faith on his death bed.
With degrees in education, English and certificates for administration and guidance counseling, she began her teaching career in 1945. After 11 years at schools in Indiana and Ohio, she began teaching English at Scecina High School in Indianapolis and quickly developed a love for Scecina. In 1964 however, she was named principal at St. Mary's Academy, also in Indianapolis. She welcomed the opportunity in 1973 to return to Scecina, where she served as guidance director until 1995. For the next 15 years she served as an administrative assistant with the school, retiring to the motherhouse in 2010.
She served on the Marian University Board of Trustees from 1995 - 2001. In 2011, the university bestowed upon her the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity in recognition of her extraordinary contributions to education. Upon retiring, she commented, "I've always tried to stress to students that we can all be of service to others. I think that came from my dad's belief of just being good to others. I've tried to do that. I hope my life has stood for my desire to become more closely united with my Lord. That's my ultimate goal."
She is survived by nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, she is also preceded in death by sister Lucille Carroll and brother Richard Long. Visitation is Tuesday, June 19th, from 1 - 3 p.m. at the convent chapel in Oldenburg. Funeral services follow at 3 p.m. with Rev. Gerald Kirkkoff officiating and burial in the convent cemetery. Weigel Funeral Home, Batesville, Indiana, is in charge of arrangements. Memorials may be made to the Srs. of St. Francis, P.O. Box 100, Oldenburg, Indiana, 47036 (www.OldenburgFranciscans.org).
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