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Dominican Sister of Peace Irene Eckerman, OP 

Dominican Sister of Peace Irene Eckerman, OP, (95), a native of Akron, OH, died on February 20, 2024, at Mohun Health Care Center, Columbus, OH.   
Sr. M. Irene (Lucille) was born to Catherine D. Steinback and Felix J. Eckerman on November 16, 1928. She entered the congregation in 1945 and spent the last 77 years professed. 
Sr. Irene earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from St. John College, Cleveland, OH, and completed post-graduate studies at Kent State University and Siena Heights College. She also earned various certificates ranging from Global Spirituality to Bereavement Facilitation.  
Her first 40 years of ministry were spent in elementary education in schools throughout Northeast Ohio. She then ministered as Coordinator of Religious Education and then Pastoral Minister in several parishes throughout Arizona. Upon returning home to the Akron Motherhouse, she served as a resident volunteer and later in prayer ministry. 

In a memorial letter to the Congregation, Prioress Sr. Pat Twohill noted a treasured quote of Irene’s: “Perfection is not something you can acquire like that – by walking into a place and trying on several and walking out again ten minutes later with one on your head that fits.” (Thomas Merton) Sr. Pat went on to say that “Irene never stopped reaching for this goal of perfection which for her was synonymous with compassion.” 

Sr. Irene’s compassion was evident in former first-grade students visiting her many years later. One of those former students said that “Sr. Irene taught us that vulnerability didn’t separate humans, it connected us.” 

Sr. Irene’s wake took place on Thursday, February 29, followed by a Mass of Resurrection on Friday, March 1. All services took place at the Columbus Motherhouse Chapel. 

The burial will be at Holy Cross Cemetery in Akron, OH, at a later date.  

Memorial gifts in Sister Irene’s name memory may be submitted securely online or sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr, Columbus, OH 43219.

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