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Monday, November 18, 2013

Sr. Ronnie Dewey, RSCJ (1929-2013)

MER with Srs. Ronnie Dewey, RSCJ and Anne Davidson, RSCJ
taken at Oakwood Community (May, 2011)
Rosemary Dewey was the youngest child of William Manzur Dewey and his second wife Elizabeth Victoria Ervin.  At the time of her birth on August 18, 1929, her parents resided where her father worked, as President of the Edgewater Beach Hotel.  Ten weeks later America would face the world's biggest stock crash and little Rosemary known as "Ronnie" would grow up during the height of the great depression in Winnetka, Illinois.  

Ronnie Dewey, RSCJ passed away peacefully on November 13, 2013 at the Society of the Sacred Heart retirement community Oakwood in Atherton, California.  Ronnie is predeceased by her parents and siblings: William, John, Elizabeth, James and Robert. For more info: rscj website

Ronnie Dewey was a 1947 alumna of the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Lake Forest, Illinois (now known as Woodlands Academy) and a 1952 alumna of Manhattanville College in NewYork. 

During the summer of 2004, as Barat College and Woodlands Academy were celebrating their 100 year anniversary of education in Lake Forest, IL, I had the opportunity of video taping various alums that had been educated in the 100 year old building on the campus called Old Main.
"In August 1904, one month before the first academic year in Lake Forest began, the Sacred Heart Station of the Chicago, North Shore, and Milwaukee Railroad was built near the southern boundary of the campus.(1) 
Ronnie Dewey, RSCJ agreed to sit with me in a one of the refurbished parlors on the first floor of Old Main and reminisced about her years attending the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Lake Forest, Illinois  as a "Day Hop".  Excerpts from Ronnie's interview can be viewed below. 

At Manhattanville College, Ronnie was involved in various sports.  She made Varsity Basketball and Tennis her Freshman year and also served on the Hockey team.  Ronnie was also a member of the class council her junior year and served as chairman of the Welfare Committee her senior year.  

"Welfare is a unique organization. Around the clock it covers every phase of life on campus, from elections through meetings to dining room courtesy.  It represents our wish to maintain a spirit of gracious living amid the confusing complexities of college existence.  This standard is not easy to maintain, but Welfare is ever-present rousing the forgetful with pleas for a tidier gym and a quieter chapel corridor.  A neat black notice board announcing clubs and committee meetings keeps the threads of a busy day untangled.  The sensible distribution of extra-curricular activities is safeguarded by an ingenious point system.Working with Student Government and the Faculty it completes our education by developing social responsibility and leadership.  Directed by Mother O'Byrne's prudent foresight and Connie's (*) appealing friendliness.  Welfare has instilled in us the ideal of Christian politeness, which is Charity." (1)
Note:  (*) The reference to "Connie" is Connie Minahan Weber, MC'50, Welfare Chairman (1949-50) and the above excerpt is taken from the Manhattanville yearbook.
Yearbook Photo Courtesy of the Manhattanville College Archives. Caption below:
"Ronnie's two-toned Chevvy is never seen empty of its merry throng, but the owner's popularity is because of Ronnie herself. Her chores as the College Emily Post range from checking on Academic dress to maintaining order in the Assembly Hall. Our Ronnie takes these and all crises in her stride, meeting them with that quiet graciousness that inspires confidence in everyone around her."

The above video is an edited portion of an interview conducted at Barat College, Lake Forest, IL with Sister Rosemary Dewey, RSCJ in the Old Main building.  The building at one time was home to Sacred Heart students who attended grade school thru College.  Known all her life as "Ronnie",  Sr. Dewey returns to the school in 2004, its Centenarian year and reminisced about her days attending the Academy as a "Day Hop".  

  (1) = Taken from BARAT COLLEGE: A LEGACY, A SPIRIT AND A NAME BY Martha Curry, RSCJ 

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