Sr. Mary Ann  Miles O.S.F.

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Sr. Mary Ann Miles, formerly Sr. Hobart, age 92 of the Sisters of St. Francis in Oldenburg, died Monday, August 5, 2019 at the convent. Born April 29, 1927 in Cincinnati, Ohio, she is the daughter of Mary (Nee: Young) and Hobart Miles, the first born of two daughters.

Sr. Mary Ann met the Franciscan Sisters at St. Clement Parish in St. Bernard, Ohio where she attended elementary school and began her passion for music. She later followed the Sisters to Our Lady of Angels High School in St. Bernard. At an early age she knew she would someday be joining the Sisters, although she never visited Oldenburg until her day of entrance in 1945.

WWII had just ended when she graduated high school, and in September left home by taxi to board a train to Batesville where she would be escorted to Oldenburg by one of the Sisters. The community recognized her musical talent, and she soon became their organist as well as teaching music to young children. Through the years she earned her BA in music at Marian University, and later her Master's degree at the Jordan College of Music at Butler University.

In an interview, Sr. Mary Ann revealed that she spent 50 years as a private music teacher from 1947-1997, and 65 years as an organist from 1947-2012. Her career included schools and parishes in Indiana and Ohio where she served as music and band teacher and the parish organist, returning to Oldenburg in 1982 where she would teach for 15 years at Oldenburg Academy. She continued serving as organist for the Community until 2012. She noted, "My favorite memory was going to orchestra and band practice in St. Clement School auditorium once a week when I was a student there. When we combined the elementary and high school bands, there were 126 of us to perform for parish and civic functions. During rehearsals, we would march around the auditorium playing wonderful, stirring marches - Sousa's Stars and Stripes, The National Anthem, Washington Post March, Queen City March and many more that we had in our repertoire."

During a jubilee celebration Sr. Mary Ann reminisced, "Music has played a great part in my relationship with God. As I play the organ, I am praying with it ... each note at a time and, hopefully, in heaven it will play an even greater part." When the Congregational Minister announced her passing to the convent, she noted, "May Sr. Mary Ann accompany the heavenly choir in eternal harmony!"

Sr. Mary Ann is preceded in death by her parents and sister, Jeanette "Jeanne" Wess. Visitation is Thursday, August 8th, from 1 - 3 p.m. in the convent chapel. Funeral services follow at 3 p.m. with Rev. Robert Weakley, O.F.M. officiating and burial in the convent cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Sisters of St. Francis, P.O. Box 100, Oldenburg, Indiana, 47036 (www.OldenburgFranciscans.org). For online condolences go to www.weigelfh.com).
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Published on August 7, 2019
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