Remembrance of the Life of Ethel Mae (Kincaide) Siegwald CoL
Ethel Mae Kincaide was born in Detroit, the seventh of eight children of two Michigan natives, George Geno and Mary Anna (Mason) Kincaide, known as Mae. Ethel was a twin, just minutes younger than Evelyn. When the twins were about 4 years old, an accidental fire took Evelyn’s life. It was a loss that Ethel carried all her life. Two years later, Ethel’s youngest sister was born, Delores Evelyn Kincaide, who later became a Sister of Loretto.
At the age of 18 Ethel married John Morral Siegwald, a former naval officer. The couple had six children; their oldest, twin boys, were born on Father’s Day. For two decades, Ethel’s days were taken up with child rearing, school activities, and part-time clerical work to supplement the family income. As the children matured and married, Ethel’s family blossomed in 18 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.
Ethel and John retired to Florida when she was in her late 50s and still very energetic. In the retirement village where they settled north of Tampa, Ethel built a life for herself of creative activities, exercise and service to others.
She took training as a nurse aide to care for a neighbor. She sang in her parish choir and in a community choir. She enjoyed creative hobbies such as crocheting, knitting, cross stitch and crewel work. She joined the Hospice movement and volunteered clerical work one day a week in the Hospice office. She worked in respite care with church members who had Alzheimer’s Disease so their caregivers could have the time to shop. Over the years Ethel pursued many spiritual and cultural opportunities for personal development and education. She kept active by walking and bowling.
Ethel was very close to her sister Delores. The two shared a number of holiday trips together, including a memorable trip to Ireland. “Delores has been a great influence in my life. I followed her around to Loretto gatherings — including the retreats at Santa Cruz — and several assemblies. The spirit of the sisters inspired me to want to become a co-member,” Ethel had written in her co-membership materials. Ethel was a member of Community Group 16 with the Kansas City Loretto members, including Delores. For years, Ethel and Delores traveled in the summers to various Loretto houses and events, to the sites of assemblies and especially to the Southwest.
As Ethel’s health declined, Delores more often visited her in Florida. In recent years Ethel lived at Rosecastle Care Center near her Florida home. She died peacefully there on Feb. 8, and is buried in the veterans cemetery nearby where her husband John is buried. Delores was able to visit Ethel at Christmas time, was in touch with her to the end, and traveled with Ethel’s children to the funeral and burial.
In her co-membership contract and at her co-membership celebration in July 1986, Ethel wrote: “Years ago I pasted a quote in front of my missal. It says, ‘Every one comes between men’s souls and God, either as a brick wall or a bridge.’ The caring, loving spirit of the Loretto Community have made you bridges and by following in your footsteps I hope to become a bridge also.
“Loretto is in my daily prayers. If we are judged by the company we keep, I want to be judged as a co-member of the Sisters of Loretto.”
— By Eleanor Craig SL
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