S. Kevin Irwin OSB

S. Kevin Irwin died on Sunday, June 14, 2020. A private wake service will be held at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 and a private funeral service will be celebrated on Wednesday, June 17, at 11:00 AM, both in Bishop Marty Memorial Chapel in Yankton, South Dakota. Burial will be in the monastery cemetery. Because of COVID-19, a public memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later date. Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Yankton.

Patricia Ann was born September 23, 1929 in Redfield, South Dakota, to Bernard and Edna (Naughton) Irwin, the oldest of three daughters. She grew up on a farm south of Rockham, South Dakota and went to a country school, then to boarding school in Zell and to Mount Marty High School in Yankton, South Dakota. She and her sisters enjoyed dances on Saturday nights and other social activities, especially after the family moved to Rockham when she was in high school. Her interest in music grew by taking piano and violin lessons while boarding in Zell.

Patricia entered Sacred Heart Monastery September 1947. She became a novice on June 23, 1948 and was given the name Kevin. She made temporary profession on June 24, 1949 and final profession on June 29, 1952. In May 1954, she graduated from Mount Marty College with a Bachelor of Music Education Degree and in 1956, she earned a Master’s Degree from the University of South Dakota in Music.

S. Kevin taught in Dimock, Stephan and Yankton, South Dakota. She served as Dean of Students at Mount Marty, 1962-1968. From 1968-1972, she was at the Newman Center in Vermillion and took classes in counseling. She then ministered in Student Life at Mount Marty until 1978 and began her work with the Divorced, Separated and Widowed group in the Yankton area. She practiced counseling at Benedictine Family Services until it closed in 1992; following that she ministered fifteen years as Volunteer Coordinator & Pastoral Minister at Sacred Heart Parish in Yankton, retiring in 2007. She continued to volunteer with communion calls and visits as well as volunteering at the Yankton Area Banquet. She was also the Director of Novices from 1985 to 1986 and Director of Formation from 1989 to 1992.

S. Kevin was an avid reader and kept up with local and world news. Sewing and baking were also hobbies, and she loved traveling to new places. She was an optimistic person with a good sense of humor, aging gracefully with a spirit of gratitude blessing her and those around her.

S. Kevin is survived by her Benedictine community, her sisters and brothers-in-law, Sharon (Deane) Munro and Mary Dawn (Harlan) Vesely, and her nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents.


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10 response to "S. Kevin Irwin OSB"

  1. By: George Padrnos and family Posted: June 16, 2020

    Sr Kevin was a total sweetheart … she visited my folks regularly …. rest assured that Jesus is hand in hand with her guiding her thru a new beginning

  2. By: John P. Blackburn Posted: June 17, 2020

    S. Kevin was special to my (now deceased) wife Bev (Rausch) and me. S. Kevin Irwin and Bev were both from Rockham I am from Redfield originally. Kevin would come to our boat at times. We shared convivial fellowship. Kevin was always upbeat and a delight to be with.
    I know you, Mary Dawn from your Redfield school days. However, you were several grades ahead of me. I remember you “are” very attractive — as was Kevin in all spheres.
    I remember your Dad too. When we went to Rockham from the Joe and Ruth Rausch farm west of Rockham, we some times stopped at (memory) Bern’s place.
    Kevin was wonderful. I’m sure God has blessed her and God bless you, her family. John P. Blackburn

  3. By: Gary and Edee Rae Posted: June 17, 2020

    We were fortunate to live across the street from Bernard and Edna in Rockham from 1973-77. We also enjoyed visits with Sister Kevin when she was there visiting her parents. She and they were delightful to know, and we felt kindness from all of them, and appreciated them as neighbors. We are sorry to hear of her passing. Gary and Edee Rae

  4. By: Bob Schlimgen Posted: June 18, 2020

    Sr. Kevin taught me in Dimock in about 1952. Most of us don’t have a good memory of third and fourth grade events but she stood out as a young teacher. She has earned her eternal reward as a great teacher and the religious life she led. Bob Schlimgen, Sts. Peter and Paul Grade School , Dimock, SD.

  5. By: Judy (Weber) studelska Posted: June 18, 2020

    Sister Kevin was a wonderful teacher. I remember her as so happy and enthusiastic about her classes. I think that everyone could attest to the fact that she made music fun. I can remember seeing her play softball with us. The first time I ever saw a teacher get involved with the kids and sports. I think that is one of the things that made her such a great person, she was not afraid to show that she really cared about her students. Sts. Peter and Paul Grade School. Dimock SD

  6. By: Joan Bohl Posted: June 19, 2020

    Sorry to learn of Sister Kevin’s passing.
    I have so many memories of her, my growing up in Zell——I took summer piano lessons in Mrs. Heppler’s house from her I think the summer of ‘47. Then while I was at Mount Marty for high school, we had her as the supervisor of fourth floor dorms at night. Not sure what years but during my time there being ‘52 to ‘56. Every class or school reunion down there, she was on my list for a special nun to see. One class reunion we congregated at a site off campus, maybe KC Hall with food, beer and music. First one on the dance floor jitterbugging was Sister Kevin and some fella. We classmates were delighted. She was very special to so many of us ZELL girls.

    Joan Gruenwald Bohl
    Jim and Ruby’s daughter and niece of Mary Angela Edgar

  7. By: John and Sharon Olbertson Posted: June 19, 2020

    Recollections of Sr. Kevin from Sharon Olbertson, MMC Class of ’62

    Inspiration for the reluctant…
    Goodness for the uncommitted…
    Faithful for the doubting…
    Energy for the fading…
    Music for the silent…
    Beacon for the wanderer
    Sunshine for a cloudy life..
    Forever model of the good and generous life.

  8. By: Dick & Mary Lou Naughton Posted: June 19, 2020

    She was really a special person to me! We used to correspond at least every Christmas, her mother Edna too!
    She was such a fun loving person. At my nieces wedding in the 70’s, Sister Kevin and another cousin Jean Brock drug me out onto the dance floor and showed me how dance the Rock and Roll.. My Dad, Art Naughton was really impressed by her! At a Naughton Reunion in Pocahontas, in the day when she was still wearing her habit, the party was going on and she pulled up her skirts and did the Irish Jig. he always talked about that. There is a bright star in Heaven today and a Void on earth!! My condolence to Mary Dawn, Harlan and Sharon Munro

  9. By: Cindy, Joseph, Katrina & Sophia Vyborny Posted: June 23, 2020

    We knew Sr. Kevin for over 30 years. She came into our lives during a time of great need and remained with us through bad and good experiences. She was a member of our family and helped us celebrate many things. We will never ever forget her and will always miss her, but with smiles and songs in our hearts!
    Love, The Vyborny Family

  10. By: Mary R Johnson Posted: June 25, 2020

    Sister Kevin was one of the nicest persons I’ve been blessed to know. She filled in for me on multiple occasions. I still. Pray for her and through her. God bless and keep her close. Love and prayers. Mary Rose

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