No matter how long good people are with us, it is never enough time. That is how many of us are feeling after Sister Lucille Dean, SP, passed away on Feb. 17.
Sister Lucille had deep roots in Seattle, where she was born in 1935, attended school, and later entered the novitiate at Mount St. Vincent in 1953. Her longtime career as a teacher and education administrator began with a bachelor’s degree from the College of Great Falls in Montana (now the University of Providence) and a master’s from the University of Oregon. She answered the call to teach and lead at her former elementary school, St. Catherine in Seattle, and also taught in Yakima and Moxee, Wash., and in Anchorage, Alaska. Then at Providence High School in Burbank, Calif., she served as educator and principal for 19 years.
For more than a decade, Sister Lucille was a member of the Providence Board of Trustees, beginning in 2010 when she served a two-year term as board chair during a time of growth and challenge for our organization. In addition, she served as acting president of the University of Great Falls in 2015. In her retirement, she lived in Seattle and was active in her religious community, where she’d held past leadership roles. At that time she said, “I am grateful for the past, and I have great hope for the future.” Words to live by for all of us.
No matter the role she filled, she approached her work with courage, determination and optimism, along with a generous dose of practicality. She was a highly respected member of the Providence board, and truly taught us what it means to lead with love.
Sister Lucille had a depth of patience and genuine grace that made her a natural teacher and a wonderful adviser. Her astute advice captured the spirit of the Sisters of Providence and their commitment to service, and many Providence leaders held her in great esteem for her guidance and her friendship. She was a trusted friend and adviser to me, and I will miss her deeply.
She was much loved and leaves an inspirational legacy for our organization and many others. We at Providence extend our deepest condolences to her family and congregation.