In Memory - Mary Agnes Chase
1923 - 1997
“What God asks of you is that you act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8

Mary Agnes Chase was born on August 3rd, 1923, the third child and only girl of Clayton and Josephine (Keough) Wolfe. She had four brothers: Robert (Bob) died in combat during WWII. At the time of her death, Tom, Leo, and Ed lived in Minneapolis, Spokane, and Portland, respectively.

She graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1943 and married Earl Chase in 1956. Mary Agnes and Earl shared the same love for their dear neighbors in providing a foster home for infants during the early years of their marriage, as well as spending time with mentally-challenged children. Later their two children, Bob and Mary Ellen (as she is known by to family members) were born.

Mary Agnes loved to garden and decorate their home. An accomplished seamstress, she enjoyed sewing clothes for herself and her family. She also loved to play the violin and to listen to classical music.

The family enjoyed many trips together. Mary Agnes, Earl, and Bob returned from their trip to Thailand (where Mary Ellen was living) with yards of gorgeous silk. She used it to sew Bob’s wife (to-be) Stephanie’s wedding dress. She believed in developing her natural talents and was always yearning for spiritual growth. One of her favorite authors was Thomas Merton.

A few years before her retirement as a librarian at St Catherine’s University, Mary Agnes was among the first six consociates of the Sisters of St. Joseph who made a public commitment in 1984. Together with sisters and consociate companions, she helped develop the consociate movement in the St. Paul Province. From 1988 to 1992, she served as co-director, first with Mary Schabert, CSJ, and then with Mary Casey, CSJ, in the membership office.

After retirement, Mary Agnes coordinated the Befrienders Program at their parish, St. John Neumann in Eagan. She was also active as a consociate right up until her illness prevented her from doing so.

About nine months before her passing, she was diagnosed with terminal cancer and her health diminished rapidly. Through it all, her trust in God was deep and constant.

Her daughter, Mary Ellen, reflected on the courageous, gentle woman her mother was in the this paraphrase of the Proverbs passage on The Valiant Women.

Her son, Bob, also reflected on the Example She Set for him.

She was difficult to find in front of the camera by herself, but here are a few, thanks to her brothers' interest in cameras. Photo Page