In Memoriam

Sister Mary Daria Herbella, OP


The very small town of Springerville, Arizona, in the east-central part of the state just 17 miles from the border with New Mexico, gave the Adrian Dominican Sisters the twenty-four-year-old Ida Mae Herbella.

Ida Mae was the seventh of ten children born to Dario and Eladia (Dominquez) Herbella after the couple moved to Arizona from the Galacian Province of their native Spain. The three “middle children” died in infancy before Ida Mae came into the family, leading age-wise to a set of three older children, a gap of several years, and then the younger four beginning with Ida Mae. It was almost like having two families merged into one, she wrote in her autobiography. She was twelve years old when the youngest sibling, Jaqueline, age four, died of diphtheria.

Dario had been conscripted into the Spanish army as a young man and served until being medically discharged due to a hernia. He then went to work in a mine, where he earned 25 cents a day in addition to having his room and board provided, and eventually he saved up enough money to book passage on a ship to Cuba. There, he worked in the sugar cane fields until he had the money to go by ship to San Francisco, where he worked as a longshoreman. Working hard and continuing to save gave him the means to return to Spain as a successful man.

Read more about Sister Mary Daria (pdf)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.

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Avatar  Julie Luna 4 years agoReply

How blessed we were to have Sr. Daria with us at St. Mary of the Angels Church in Pinetop. She was very special to us all, was involved with the Music Ministry as well as so many other activities. She had a great sense of humor and so full of joy. She was so welcomed to the Heavenly kingdom. God Bless Sr. Daria.

Julie Luna

Avatar  Carol Elya 4 years agoReply

I lived with S Daria in Phoenix. I remember how she loved to go to card stores and get cards, especially Hallmark. She would write letters almost every night. She volunteered as a librarian at Bourgade Catholic High School when I was teaching there. I will miss seeing her. S Carol Elya

Avatar  Gary Herbella 4 years agoReply

Thank you Sister Daria for leaving each of the countless people you touched with something both positive and peaceful. You never forgot a birthday and, as your nephew, I always felt that your “God Bless You”s came with extra meaning and power. Remembering you with love.

Avatar  Alyssa Contreras 4 years agoReply

Rip aunt sister Daria! I love you and am blessed to be able to call you my aunt! Tell grandma and grandpa hi for me!

Avatar  Barbara Kelley, OP 4 years agoReply

I was in the Sisters' Choir at the Motherhouse with Sister Daria for years and was very sad when she left because it got to be too much for her. Still, every time I saw her in the chapel after that, she would smile at me and hold out her hands to me. She was a gentle, loving, sweet and peaceful presence and she melted my heart.

Avatar  Therese A Bruce 4 years agoReply

Sister Daria was my mother Genevieve's sister. I have 6 brothers and sisters and Sister Daria sent birthday cards to each and every one of us for most of our lives. We will always remember Daria for her depth of compassion and her love and appreciation for each and every one of us. Rest in peace Daria, you are loved and we love you.

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