Remembrance of the Life of Anne Spillane CoL
Anne Catherine Spillane (known as Nancy by her family) was a bright light wherever she was. It was often said that she was “everyone’s best friend,” so well did she fulfill that role. Known as Sister Lucian, from 1947 to 1971, she served Loretto in many capacities — teacher at Mary Queen of Peace in Webster Groves, Mo., and other schools, the youngest Catholic school principal in St. Louis (St. Ferdinand), provincial councilor, education director in Fairfield, Iowa, eventually coordinator of co-membership services on the staff and member of various committees.
Between her time as a Sister of Loretto and rejoining the Community as a Co-member in 1984, Anne worked in publishing as a reading consultant and in sales. Her work with Loretto was valued both for her expertise and for her continual good humor.
Many words of praise for Anne have been shared with her friends and family. Among them are these from Kathleen DeSutter Jordan: “To me, hers was a quiet but encouraging presence, in good times and hard.” Maureen O’Connell SL writes: “My memory of Anne was that she was such a solid, peaceful, great human being, always looking to laugh, as natural a person in what she said and believed as I’d ever met.”
For Anne’s dear friend and companion, Marian McAvoy SL, Anne was a constant. When it was necessary for Anne to move to the Loretto Infirmary, Marian visited her every day until the recent Covid-19 shutdown. Anne’s family visited until they couldn’t, again because of the virus. The reports of those visits were of riotous good times recalling earlier days. I had many, many happy times with Anne in traveling, visiting and too many examples to list. To so many of us, Anne was truly the best friend one could have. Support staff and all of Anne’s friends remarked on her continuing cheerfulness and eagerness to laugh.
A more detailed remembrance, courtesy of the Loretto Archivist, Eleanor Craig SL, will be given later in the year when we hope friends and family will be able to attend burial of cremains.