Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302


the Inland Register

(From the August 20, 2015 edition of the Inland Register)

Sister Joan (Marian Joan) McKenna SNJM

Holy Names Sister Joan McKenna died July 15 at Hospice House in Spokane. She was 85 years old.

The funeral Mass was celebrated July 24 at the Convent of the Holy Names in Spokane.

Joan McKenna was born Nov. 16, 1929, in Fresno, California, the only child of Joseph and Agnes Finnegan McKenna. She began her education in Fresno, but graduated from St. Mary Academy in Portland, Ore. Her educational accomplishments included a B.A. in Math from Marylhurst University, an M.A in Math from University of Detroit, and a PhD in Math from St. Louis University.

She joined the Sisters of the Holy Names in July of 1947, and began her teaching career in 1949 at The Immaculate in Seattle and St. Francis High School in Eugene. She returned to the student role in 1957 for her graduate degrees, and then began teaching at Fort Wright College of the Holy Names, Spokane, in 1969.

With the close of Fort Wright College, Sister Joan joined the faculty at Spokane Falls Community College from 1981-83. At that time her religious community asked her to return to community service to implement her technology skills as Director of Computer Services for the Provincial Department. In 1996, she was also given responsibility for purchasing, licensing and upkeep of the fleet of province cars, a role she carried until 2006. By that time, the rheumatoid arthritis that had plagued her for years had made it necessary for her to retire.

In addition to teaching, she was an accomplished photographer and figure skater. She had extensive knowledge of both French and German, in addition to English.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Sisters of the Holy Names Retirement Fund, 2911 W. Fort Wright Dr., Spokane, WA 99224.

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