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OBIT – Patricia Margaret DeBlieck, CSJ

ST. PAUL, MINN. – This courageously persistent woman of immense generosity and faith was born on March 17, 1938 and passed away peacefully on Monday, July 30, 2018.

A daughter of Belgian immigrants, Harry and Margaret (Beeusaert) DeBlieck, Sister Margaret Rose (Patricia) grew up on a farm in Murray County, Shetek Township, Minnesota.

During her first year at the College of St. Catherine, she heard a sermon that changed her life and prompted her to enter the community of the Sisters of St. Joseph. In 1964, Sister Patricia earned a B.S. in Nursing and Psychology from St. Catherine University and later an M.S. in Maternal Infant Nursing from the University of Utah. In 1972, from the American College of Nurse Midwifes in Washington, D.C., she became a Certified Nurse Midwife.

Her early years of nursing were spent at St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul, St. Mary’s Hospital in Minneapolis, and St. Michael’s Hospital in Grand Forks, N.D. Believing her work was an extension of her ministry as a Sister of St. Joseph and knowing the greatest need for her skill would take her to some of the poorest areas of the U.S., Patricia headed to Holmes County, Miss., and later to Hidalgo County, along the US-Mexico border in Texas. It was there that she would spend the next 41 years greeting and treating 60 to 80 pregnant women nearly every day.

In recognition of Patricia’s outstanding work for the health of these indigent mothers and their children, the March of Dimes named her Maternal and Infant Nurse of the Year in 1986.

Of her work she wrote: “Working with these (as young as 12) mothers and their babies has helped me to help the mother realize their importance as an individual. And that ties in with my religious beliefs that each person is important in the eyes of God.”

Patricia is preceded in death by her parents.

She is survived by brother, Richard DeBlieck; uncle, Norman DeBlieck; aunt, Patricia DeBlieck; godson, Bruce DeBlieck; numerous cousins; many devoted friends; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Consociates.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held at 11 a.m., Monday, August 6, 2018, at Our Lady of the Presentation Chapel, 1884 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul, Minn., with visitation at 10 a.m. preceding the Mass. Burial followed at Resurrection Cemetery in Mendota Heights, Minn., and was followed by a luncheon at the Carondelet Center in St. Paul. Arrangements were under the direction of Willwerscheid Funeral Home in St. Paul.

Memorials are preferred by the family to be donated to the Sisters of St. Joseph Ministries Foundation.

Sister Patricia, rest in love and peace.

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