We commend to your charity the soul of our beloved
Sister Rosalie Deck
who departed this life on November 9, 2012
in the sixty-sixth year of her religious life
Age: 83 years, 3 months, 0 days
Resurrection Service: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 3:30 p.m.
Funeral arrangements are as follows in Kingston, Massachusetts: Wake in the Chapel at Providence House on Monday, November 12 from 2-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Prayer Service in the Chapel on Monday, November 12 at 7:30 p.m. Mass of Resurrection on Tuesday, November 13 at 3:30 p.m. in the Chapel at Sacred Heart High School. Burial will follow at Our Lady of Divine Providence cemetery.
“How shall I sing to God and tell my Savior’s story...I’ll sing with my life...” [song by David Haas]
Mary Ann Deck began her life in Allen County, Indiana, moving to Pittsburgh, Pa., as a child. Raised in a religious atmosphere, she entered the Sisters of Divine Providence at age 18 from St. Catherine’s Church in Pittsburgh. One of her sisters, Sister Rosemonde, joined her two years later in the Community. Their only brother, Marion, became a Franciscan priest.
Sister Rosalie, the oldest of five children, had two other sisters, Virginia and Dolores. They grew up together in a musical family. Sister Rosalie’s mother, Gladys, was a distinguished vocal coach and singer. Her father, Ferdinand, was first chair clarinetist with the Fort Wayne Symphony Orchestra. Sister Rosalie, with Sister Rosemonde, began performing as a young girl and continued through all the years of her life.
After joining the Community, Sister Rosalie became a music educator. Receiving a BS in music education and later a master’s of music in vocal performance, Sister Rosalie spent her life teaching and performing. She celebrated her wondrous musical gifts and rejoiced in God’s goodness in allowing her to share those gifts with students in schools in the Dioceses of Boston, Mass., and Pittsburgh and in an educational series on WQED radio in Pittsburgh. “How shall I sing to God when life is filled with gladness....I’ll sing from the heart, thankfully receiving, joyful in believing...”
After moving from Pittsburgh to Kingston, Mass., Sister Rosalie taught for almost forty years at Sacred Heart School. She gave private voice lessons, directed chorus groups, and led special vocal ensembles. Music was her source of life, her embodied prayer, and her way to express her love of God and all people. Sister Rosalie became fluent in French. She and Sister Rosemonde also studied other languages in order to perform in many different languages. Together the Deck Sisters won international acclaim as concert artists with symphony orchestras, on recordings, television, and radio throughout the United States and in many other countries. “I’ll sing with my life, witnessing and giving, risking and forgiving...”
During many community gatherings, Sister Rosalie was always generous in offering a song or two to enliven a liturgy or entertain dinner guests. As her physical and mental health became compromised, Sister Rosalie was more aware of the beauty surrounding her. As she was losing her ability to communicate clearly, she often said, “I love everyone,” or, “I love you.” May we continue to rejoice in the music she shared and in her spirit of joy, as Sister Rosalie joins her voice with the heavenly chorus and brings honor to the God of Providence. “...This is my song, I’ll sing it with love.”
Birthday: August 9
Written by Sister Mary Francis Fletcher
If you would like to make a gift to the Sisters of Divine Providence in memory of Sister Rosalie, visit our donation page.