Sr. Marie Gabrielle Rests in her Lord

Sr Marie GabrielleSister Marie Gabrielle Demars, DHS, was born in Tupper Lake, New York on October 10, 1921 in the loving household of Thomas and Marie Demars (Lepage) who baptized their daughter Dora Gladys.

From the snow-blessed country of upper New York State, Dora came to Putnam to enter the novitiate of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit in 1942. She pronounced her first vows at the Provincial House in Putnam on July 1, 1943 and immediately was assigned to the classroom in Waterbury, Connecticut where she served as teacher at St. Joseph School  for 11 years. She then transferred to All Hallows School in Moosup and then to St. Anne School in Waterbury before heading to Fordham Universtity to obtain her advanced MA and PhD degrees in Education. Then she entered her college professorship commitment at Diocesan Sisters College and Annhurst College. In 1981 she ministered as a ‘home missionary’ in the position of principal of All Saints School in Anniston, Alabama. In 1990 Sister Demars headed to the African continent where she ministered as school principal in Ogbomosho, Nigeria. She returned to the US for a short period in 1994 and then returned to Nigeria to complete her missionary work.

After her final journey home in 1995,  Marie Gabrielle spent some time debriefing at the Provincial House before going to the Hartford, CT area as a volunteer with underserved groups. There she remained until her health brought her to retire at the PH/Health Care Center. In July of 2016, Sister moved with 21 companions to form a new DHS Community at St. Joseph Living Center in Windham, CT.  This is where her Lord came for her on Saturday, January 14th, 2017.

Sister Marie Gabrielle was noted for her sociability. She loved people and enjoyed joining in on conversations on any topic. She was particularly fond of her time at Annhurst College and stayed in touch with many alumni over the years. Sister was also a huge fan of the U Conn Women’s Basketball Team and collected memorabilia and newspaper articles that she loved to share with anyone who would listen or showed interest in her girls. Sister Marie’s smile and wide eyed expression will be missed. May she rest in the arms of her Lord as she continues to look kindly on all whose lives she touched in a very special way.

There will be a gathering of Sister’s family and friends at the Provincial House on Tuesday, January 17th from 6-8 pm with a prayer service in her honor at 7:15. Funeral services will be on Wednesday in the Provincial House Chapel as well at 11:00 a.m. She will be laid to rest at St. Mary of the Visitation Cemetery on Providence Street in Putnam. Memorial donations may be sent for the DHS Retirement Fund and mailed to the Development Office at 72 Church Street Putnam, CT 06260.
For more information about Sister, you may contact our Provincial Secretary at



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