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Almost from her earliest days, Barbara Hehr knew her goal was to be a teacher.
“Even when I was small, it was something I wanted to do,” she said in her 2016 “A Sister’s Story” video. And so, she would play school with her brothers, making cards to teach them to read and spell.
Barbara Ann Hehr was born on October 3, 1933, in Chicago to Fredrick and Anna (Simon) Hehr, both German immigrants. She was the seventh of ten children in the family, with seven brothers (Raymond, Maynard, William, Kenneth, Edward, Jerome, and Robert) and two sisters (Vivian and Teresa).
The Hehrs were a faith-filled family, with the Rosary and daily prayer at meals and bedtime a regular part of their lives and a special devotion to the Infant of Prague. A statue of the Infant was placed outside the home’s door when the family went out, to protect them all, and the last person inside would bring it back in for the night.
Frederick worked as an electrotyper, while Anna was the family tailor, cook, and baker. She always made special treats for the children before bed, and Barbara remembered her mother’s talents as “phenomenal.” “I never saw her sit,” she said in her “Sister’s Story.” Anna was also the family disciplinarian, especially when it came to lateness, which was never excused; Barbara remembered that a child might come in late and say, “I’m sorry,” and Anna would reply “Well, I’m sorry too,” and the child would promptly be grounded.
Read more about Sister Barbara (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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Our Adrian Dominican cemetery with its circular headstones is a beautiful place of rest for women who gave their lives in service to God — and a peaceful place for contemplation and remembrance.
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