2012 In Memoriam

We remember our sisters who entered into eternal life in 2012:

Sr. Vivienne Armstead, OSU
Sr. Damian Aycock, OSU


Sr. Vivienne Armstead, OSU

Sr. Vivienne Armstead, OSU
Oct. 21, 1931 – March 23, 2012

"Vivienne Armstead was born in Alton, Ill., on the feast of St. Ursula in 1931. Her formal education began there with the Ursuline Sisters at St. Patrick's school and at Marquette High School. Besides doing well in her studies, Viv's beautiful voice was recognized and she began voice lessons.

"Viv entered the Ursuline novitiate in 1953 and made her first vows in 1956. Although she was a perfectionist, she managed to teach Gregorian chant to the rest of the novices. She went to the College of New Rochelle to continue her studies and later received her master's in English from St. Louis University. Following that Viv studied at the American Conservatory of Music, and after Tertianship she continued her vocal development in Vienna.

"Viv did not find teaching teenagers her cup of tea and went on to other areas of ministry, working with individuals who were trying to get a GED, giving voice lessons and working in the Kirkwood infirmary. Toward the end of the '60s, she was influenced by the Civil Rights Movement and used her gift of music to compose in the style of Joan Baez. Indeed, Viv gifted us with her music, her poetry and the notes and letters she wrote to her Ursuline friends.

"As part of the 2002 Millennium Project on Racial Healing, Viv, along with others, made presentations to the Ursuline communities on racial issues. She herself had been the object of prejudice. We were grateful that she had not experienced prejudice in living Ursuline community life.

"One cannot truly imagine what it must have felt like as a young, gifted black woman to have discerned that the Lord was calling her to live in community with all white women. We have been blessed to share life with you, Viv, and more than blessed with your friendship."

An Ursuline friend

 Sr. Damian Aycock, OSU

 Sr. Damian Aycock, OSU
 September 27, 1922 - July 6, 2012

Sr. Damian Aycock, OSU, died peacefully July 6 at the Ursuline Queen of Peace health care center in Alton, Ill. She was 89.

Known for her electric-blue eyes and bright smile, Sr. Damian was born Ida Clothilde “Tootie” Aycock on Sept. 27, 1922, in New Orleans. Having spent much of her youth in Honduras with her family, she became a boarding student at Ursuline Academy of New Orleans as soon as she was old enough to attend school. She graduated from the academy in 1940, entered the Ursuline order in 1942, and professed her final vows in 1945. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of New Rochelle in New York and a master of education degree from Loyola University in New Orleans.
Sr. Damian served in teaching, leadership and administrative assignments in Springfield and Decatur, Ill.; Dallas, Texas; Kirkwood and Crystal City, Mo.; Puebla, Mexico; and New Orleans. She was greatly admired for her optimism and leadership skills. Said fellow New Orleanian Sr. Carla Dolce, OSU, “She was able to elicit the creativity, the sense of responsibility and the passion of the people she worked with, and everyone had a good time.”
In 1991, Sr. Damian received the first Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Award from the National Catholic Education Association for making a difference in the lives of students, families and communities. That year she also was one of six representatives of the National Congress of Catholic Educators who met with President George H.W. Bush, Education Secretary Lamar Alexander and Chief of Staff John Sununu to discuss and support parental choice in education.