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Sister Mary Julie Rose Keck, SND (Roseann Keck); September 13, 1932 – May 16, 2024        

Roseann Keck, born on September 13, 1932, was the second child of Joseph and Josephine Hamm Keck.  In her autobiography, Roseann wrote that her parents considered themselves twice blessed: first, for the birth of a healthy baby, and secondly, because the crowded conditions in their home in Cleveland made building a new house a necessity. Through sacrifice and hard work throughout the Depression years, they accomplished their dream. The family grew in number: Roseann and her sister welcomed a brother and three more sisters. The children attended St. Joseph School in Collinwood.  They and their friends especially enjoyed “housekeeping” in a large playhouse that Mr. Keck constructed in the backyard, complete with a toy stove and refrigerator, table & chairs, and curtained windows.

As an 8th grader, Roseann calmly and capably took care of her entire family for two weeks after her youngest sister was born. Mrs. Keck planned and prepared everything ahead of time. Roseann did the daily chores and started supper; after school, her siblings took over, and Roseann went to school to get the day’s assignments from her teacher.  Roseann’s choice for high school was St. Francis, Cleveland, where she first met the Sisters of Notre Dame.  She described her freshman year as “exciting, and full of surprises and work.” The friendships formed with classmates lasted a lifetime.  Roseann was a conscientious student, whether studying math and Latin, or excelling in typing, shorthand, and office practice. At graduation she received many honors and awards, including the Mother Evarista Scholarship to Notre Dame College, which Roseann called “the climax and highlight of everything.” Keenly aware of God’s goodness to her, Roseann began college as a lay student and continued as a postulant: she entered the novitiate on September 8, 1950, and was invested in 1951.

In response to the great need for teachers, Sister Mary Julie Rose was missioned to St. Boniface School, Cleveland, in 1953. For 27 years she taught junior high students at St. Stephen and St. Vitus, Cleveland; SS Cyril & Methodius, Lakewood; St. Felicitas, Euclid; St. Francis of Assisi, Gates Mills; St. Peter, North Ridgeville, all in Ohio, and at Campus School in Washington, DC. Sister Mary Julie Rose earned a bachelor’s degree from St. John College in Cleveland, OH, and a master’s degree from St. Xavier College, Chicago, IL. She served as principal for 3 years at St. John School in Warrenton, VA and for 7 years at SS Cyril & Methodius, Lakewood. Following her classroom ministry, she was a secretary in the Cleveland Diocesan Education Office for 4 years.

From 1994 to 2018, Sister Mary Julie Rose was an assistant in the provincial secretarial office in Chardon, Ohio. Accurate and patient, she indexed files, updated records, and met each person with a gracious smile. She served the SND community in countless hidden ways. Her hobbies included swimming and reading. A good conversationalist, she loved to research a topic of discussion or point of interest.

Sister Mary Julie Rose said that her spiritual life, just like her natural life, began within her family. She was “nourished and shaped by Mom’s caring, by Dad’s industry and creativity, and by their love of prayer, all coming together for me in Notre Dame, where the family spirit continues in the love of Jesus and Mary.”  Sister Mary Julie Rose will be remembered for her joy, simplicity, and gratitude—gifts which blessed her life and ours.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, May 24, at the Sisters of Notre Dame Center. Visitation will be from 9:30-10:15. Mass will be live-streamed. Go to

To make a gift in memory of Sr. Mary Julie Rose Keck, please click here.

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