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3/28/1997
Founder of Eugene's Carmelite monastery dies
Staff and news service reports


EUGENE - One of the six founding nuns of the monastery of Carmel of Maria Regina here died March 19 at the age of 66 from cancer.

Carmelite Sister Mary Gauvin (Marguerite Claire Gauvin) parti-cipated in the founding of the monastery in 1957.

Sister Mary was a gifted artist in many fields: painting, sculpting, ceramics, china-painting, and pottery. A number of churches, both Catholic and Protestant, use articles that she made for church services. She was a talented seamstress as well, designing and making vestments of all kinds. She was often asked to repair statuary. Her last such work was on a crucifix damaged in the Mount Angel earthquake. It was given to St. Catherine's Church in Veneta by the Benedictine nuns of Mount Angel.

'She was a very fun person and she enjoyed life,' said Mother Elizabeth St. Onge. 'She really loved her vocation. She was always doing things for people in real practical ways.'

Sister Mary had a 'beautiful, high soprano voice in her younger years,' Mother Elizabeth said. She said that someone would be talking, and it would remind Sister Mary of a tune, and out would come songs from the '30s and '40s. Sister Mary's interests stretched to learning how to work on computers and assisting the monastery in selling altar bread.

Born in Buffalo, N.Y., she moved with her family to Los Angeles in 1948 where she attended Los Angeles City College, majoring in home economics and preschool education. She entered the Carmelite Monastery of St. Teresa in Alhambra, Calif., on her 20th birthday in 1951, making perpetual vows in 1955.

Sister Mary is survived by her sister, Donna Marie Lee, four nieces and nephews, two great-nieces and one great-nephew.



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