On March 14, 1939, Petranella (Nellie Vandehey) and Theodore Mathias Van Dyke welcomed Joanne Theresa into their growing Verboort (Forest Grove), Oregon family. Joanne would eventually have fifteen siblings. She completed her elementary education at St. Paul Catholic School and her secondary education at St. Paul High School.
Following her high school graduation, she entered the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon accepting the name of Sr. Jean Marie on Aug. 15, 1958. She continued her education at Marylhurst College (University), graduating in 1963 with a B.S. in Elementary Education. As Sr. Jean Marie’s ministries changed, she engaged in additional classes at Portland State University,
Gonzaga University and Rock Creek Community College. In 1974 she was awarded a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Portland. In 1998, she earned a certificate in Liturgical Training from the University of Santa Clara.
Sr. Jean Marie’s education and many talents were well in Oregon Catholic schools. She taught at Our Lady of Sorrows (Portland), Sacred Heart (Tillamook), St. Pius X (Portland), St. Boniface (Sublimity), Holy Cross (Portland), St Agatha (Portland), St. John the Baptist (Milwaukie), St. Mary (Stayton) and St. Cecilia (Beaverton). In 1963, she opened St. Pius X School, teaching in the church until the school building was completed the following year. Sr. Jean Marie gifted Our Lady of Sorrows, St. Agatha and Sacred Heart (Klamath Falls, OR) schools with her leadership and organizational skills as principal.
In 1979, because of those organizational skills, her SSMO Community asked her to serve as bookkeeper for the St. Mary of the Valley (now Valley Catholic) Elementary and High Schools and the SMV Residency. She served 5 years, then took on a pioneer ministry as the first SSMO Director of Religious Education at St. Patrick (Lakeview, WA) from 1985 to 1990. From 1990 to 1993, she continued her pioneering SSMO spirit serving as Pastoral Associate and later school principal at Sacred Heart (Klamath Falls). From 1993 to 1999, she ministered as Director of Faith Formation at Our Lady of Lourdes (Vancouver, WA). Sr. Jean Marie served as Pastoral Associate at St. Thomas More (Portland) from 1999 to 2011.
Sr. Jean Marie’s volunteer service and passion was for Rose Haven Women’s and Children’s Shelter. For years, she served in the Rose Haven kitchen, did table service, cleaned up, and engaged guests in caring, meaningful conversation.
Compassionate service to the poor, to her SSMO community, and to those she encountered in ministry highlighted Sr. Jean Marie’s life. A woman of faith, prayer, vision and energy; she joyfully shared her talents of sewing, baking and cooking, organizing, and nurturing plants back to life. Her family, her religious community, her students, those she encountered in ministry, and, especially, the guests of Rose Haven Women’s and Children’s Shelter—all benefited from her generous care.
After a gallant, arduous battle with cancer, Sister Jean Marie Van Dyke passed away at the SSMO Motherhouse on Dec. 11, 2021. She is missed, loved and survived by her Sisters in Community; by her sisters Joyce Van Dyke, Berneice (Dan) Bailey, and Doris (Jim) Herinckx; her brothers Norbert and Norman (Betty) Van Dyke; her nephew Gene Waibel, niece Annette Evans, and cousin Sr. Charlotte Van Dyke; and her many, deeply treasured friends.
Sr. Jean Marie’s parents Petranella (Vandehey) and Theodore Van Dyke, and her siblings Maurice Van Dyke, Edmund Van Dyke, Richard Van Dyke, Carl Van Dyke, Gerald (Helen) Van Dyke, Wilbert Van Dyke, Eileen McMahan, Ethel Duyck, Leslie Van Dyke, and Martha Waibel preceded her in death.
May Sr. Jean Marie Van Dyke rest in God’s loving embrace.