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Date of Death
Sister Donna (Loretta) Petit, O.S.F. Of Milwaukee, WI, passed away at St. Luke’s Hospital, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008 after a lingering battle with cancer. BORN: She was born October 4, 1923 in Virgil, IL, the daughter of Michael J. and Elizabeth (Feltes) Petit.Donna, who was baptized Loretta, grew up on the family farm outside of Virgil. She had several brothers and sisters; among them was a Marian priest, Father Clement, and our Sister Marie. She was taught by our sisters at SS. Peter and Paul School in Virgil, IL., and attended high school at St. Mary’s Academy. In 1941 at the age of eighteen, she entered the convent of the Sisters of St. Francis of Milwaukee, WI. When she became a novice on August 11, 1942 she received the name Sister Donna. Sister Donna professed vows in 1944 and began her ministry at Louisville, Ky., that fall. She did domestic work at the archbishop’s residence there for five years. Then she was transferred to the orphanage at Superior, WI., where se was a housemother, 1949-1950. Her next mission was St. Aemilian Orphanage, Milwaukee, where she was a housemother for 17 years. Sister Donna continued in child care at St. Coletta, Jefferson, WI, and at St. Joseph Children’s Home, Torrington, WY.In 1971, Sister Donna became a full-time student at Cardinal Stritch University, where she completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She then worked at St. Agnes, Milwaukee, in the day-care program for young children, for five years. In 1987 she was honored as one of the original founders of the Wisconsin Association of Child Care Workers (WACCW) at its 25th anniversary celebration. In 1979 Sister Donna enrolled at St. Luke’s Hospital Milwaukee, to become certified as a chaplain and ministered as a chaplain at Mercy Medical Center, in Oshkosh, WI. From 1980-1989.Sister Donna enjoyed travel, crocheting, photography, playing cards, and reading a good novel or mystery. She found inspiration from "Walks in beautiful places, for example along Lake Michigan; listening to the elderly; and helping someone in need."Sister Donna moved to Nojoshing community in April 2002. On New Years Eve 2006 she became seriously ill and was hospitalized. She never regained complete health. With her at St, Luke’s Medical Center were Fr. Byron Haaland, who had anointed her just before she died; her sister, Sister Marie Petit; Sisters Kathleen Denevan and Marianne Muscott, Pam Person (Director of Health Services); and nephews. Out of Gods deepest mercy a dawn will come from on high, light for those shadowed by death, a guide for our feet on the way to peace." .May Sister Donna find deepest mercy, dawn, light and a loving guide…~ Marie Colette Roy, OSFSURVIVORS She is survived by:Two brothers, Frank of St. Charles and Peter of Virgil, ILTwo sisters, Lorraine (Petit) Miller of Virgil, IL andSister Marie Petit, O.S.F. of Milwaukee, WI;In addition she leaves many nieces and nephews as well as great nieces and nephews and an unnumbered host friends in ministry.PRECEDED She is preceded in death by:three sisters, Louise (Oscar) Zang,Julia (Wilby) Dinges andRegina Petit;three brothers:Fr. Clement PetitHerman PetitCarl PetitThree sisters-in-law:Jean (Sauber) PetitHelen (Sauber) Petit andEarlene (Ambre) Petit;Two nephews:Xavier Zang andDavid Petit andOne niece:Donna Petit.One great nephew Scott PetitVISITATION / FUNERAL Following traditional visitation and mass in Milwaukee, a local memorial mass will be held Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008 at 11am at S.S. Peter & Paul Church, Virgil, IL. MEMORIAL A memorial has been established in her name to benefit the Sisters of St. Francis Retirement Home. Checks may be made to the Sister Donna Petit Memorial and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through www.conleycare.com.
Following traditional visitation and mass in Milwaukee, a local memorial mass will be held Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008 at 11am at S.S. Peter & Paul Church, Virgil, IL.