Sister Frances, the former Sister Mary Clarence, was born to Andrew Lueke and Mary Margaret Brenzel on December 24, 1930... She had six brothers and two sisters. Her sister, Margaret, is here with us today. Frances attended elementary school at St. Rita’s and high school at Mercy Academy in Louisville. She entered the Sisters of Mercy on February 2, 1948. As a sister, she earned degrees at Our Lady of Cincinnati College and Spaulding University and did post-graduate work at a number of other universities. She was very proud that in 2004, she was included as a member of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.
She was always an educator. She spent most of her teaching years at St. Basil’s in Louisville, but also served in Columbus, Paducah and Pleasure Ridge Park. She taught or was the principal in each school. Besides her work in education, she had many hobbies all of which benefited others. At one time she visited various nursing homes, near the school at which she was ministering. When she retired, she joined a rosary-making group, where she made many friends. At McAuley, Cincinnati, she did quilting, crocheting and sewing, often mending for the house and to help out those sisters who were less adept seamstresses. Again, a woman for others.
During COVID and after, McAuley was short a cook, and so had to order out every Saturday to give the cooks a day off to rest. Frances was concerned that the sisters were not getting enough good food for breakfast, so she took it upon herself to make a breakfast treat every week. She loved to make bread and on other special days she would make donuts. When there was something special on television, she would make a large bowl of popcorn. More recently, she had revived her skill as a candy maker. Among the favorites were bourbon balls, peanut brittle and buckeyes.
She provided the dessert for the employee Christmas party and always fixed up treats for her special friends. She made greeting cards for all occasions. She wrote hundreds of thank-you notes on behalf of McAuley Convent. Right before she became so ill, she was collecting the ingredients for her various concoctions. In recent times she had to get Gail, the assistant director of nursing. to assist. During the past few months, she taught Sister Carol Louise to quilt. Over the years, she made sock animals, quilts, blankets and rosaries for people who might not otherwise have had such a treasure.
Frances was very close to her family and connected with one or another of them almost every day. They came to visit frequently. She spoke of them fondly. Besides her family she had lots of friends—people with whom she had attended high school, sisters in her entrance class, friends she had made at her various ministries.
Frances was a deeply spiritual person and related to many of her friends on that level. Among her possessions were various statues, holy cards, devotional books—all of which were well-thumbed. She used to say the Divine Office and had the whole set of books. She was an excellent lector and enjoyed reading for liturgies.
They used to say of St. Ignatius that he was a man for others. Frances was truly “a woman for others.” Looking over her life, especially her days at McAuley, it’s obvious that almost everything she did, her baking, her sewing, quilt making was to benefit someone else. She was much-loved for her constant generosity and thoughtful, friendly manner. She will certainly be missed.