|Birth: ||Sep. 8, 1911|
|Death: ||Oct. 11, 2007|
Sister Audrey Cousino, IHM, died Thursday, Oct. 11,2007 in the IHM Health Care Center. She was 96. She had been under the care of Mercy Memorial Hospital of Monroe.
Sister Audrey was one of 10 children, three boys and seven girls of Arthur and Loretta (Benore) Cousino. She was born Sept. 8, 1911, in Erie, Mich., and given the name Dorothy.
Sister Audrey attended elementary and high school at St. Joseph, Erie. She became a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Monroe in 1928, taking the religious name of Sister Audrey.
Sister Audrey earned a bachelor's degree from Marygrove College and a master's degree from the University of Detroit.
She taught for 46 years at St. Joseph, Monroe; St. Cecilia, Detroit; St. Mary, Lorain, Ohio, and for 23 of those years, she was principal at St. Felicitas, Chicago; Sacred Heart, Roseville; St. Matthew, Detroit, and St. Mary, Mt. Clemens. While ministering in Macomb County, Sister Audrey received the "Outstanding Service to Citizens of Macomb" award.
In 1975 Sister Audrey began her years of service at the IHM Motherhouse. She served as a nurse's aide for four years, and in 1979 she began 18 years as sacristan in the Motherhouse Chapel. This entailed preparation for daily Mass, all community celebrations and special occasions.
She retired in 1996, but continued to minister in many ways especially as Eucharistic minister to senior citizen residents at Norman Towers, Mercy Memorial Nursing Center and the Health Care Center.
Sister Audrey is preceded in death by her sisters, Pauline (Mrs. Russell Walters), Marie Kathryn (Mrs. Robert Pope), Mrs. Viola Gaynier, Mrs. Marcella Morrin, Mrs. Arthur Sconocchia and Rose Marie, and her brothers, Kenneth, LaVerne and Merlyn.
She is survived by nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held at the IHM Motherhouse, 610 W. Elm Avenue, Monroe, on Monday, Oct. 15, from 2 until 7:30 p.m. with a Remembering at 7 p.m. The Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated in the Chapel on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 10 a.m. with the Rev. Arthur Fauser as presider. Burial will follow in St. Mary Cemetery on the Motherhouse Campus. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Rupp Funeral Home, Monroe.
Memorials may be made to the IHM Retirement Fund, 610 W. Elm Ave., Monroe, MI 48162-7909.
******REMEMBERING SISTER AUDREY********
Today we remember Sister Audrey Cousino who for 79 years graced our lives as she spent her prayerful and dedicated life among us.
Her book of life page begins with her theme: The Lord has done marvels for me. Holy is His Name. From early on she lived this gratitude. She was born on Sept. 8 the oldest of 10 children: Viola, Marcella, Pauline, Georgette, Marie Kathryn, LaVerne, Kenneth, Merlyn and Rose Marie, all of whom are deceased. The youngest, a Down's syndrome child, lived to age 7.
Sister was named Dorothy which means "Gift of God" with her middle name Mary in honor of Our Lady whose birthday she shared. Sister notes that "-- her baptismal clothes which consisted of yards of material, much lace and tiny tucks, were all made by loving hands and used for all l0 children's baptisms." Love and care were hers from the beginning.
Erie was the site of the homestead. Sister's parents, Arthur and Loretta, were both born there as were the 10 Cousino children. Her father, from generations of farmers, was a hard working, quiet, unassuming man. Her mother attended Ursuline and St. Mary's Academies. She had multiple interests and hobbies, an abundance of enthusiasm and she loved life and people. The acorn, Audrey, did not fall far from the maternal tree. Mrs. Cousino published a family genealogy titled, Cousineau Sur LaBie. The publisher of the latter stated the book "....served as a worthy monument to the courage, strength, piety and moral virtues of the Cousino's." This strong family background formed the spirituality Audrey would continue to develop in her life. Devotions to the Sacred Heart and Our Lady with daily family rosary were focal. Our Blessed Mother was so significant that Mrs. Cousino built a shrine to her in her yard which still exists and has been visited by many IHMs. At the time of writing the family history, there were 40 religious in multiple communities all from Cousino families.
At the age of five, Dorothy began school at St. Joseph's, Erie. Her mother loved the sisters and was a frequent visitor bringing produce and goodies from her kitchen. It was during sister's junior year that she was interviewed by Mother Domitilla and entered on July 2, 1928. She said that, "Leaving my family was one of the most difficult tasks of my life." She often told of her three-year-old brother standing on the porch and waving goodbye as she left. Many times her first summer, she saw her mother with her brothers and sisters sitting in the family car staring at the Hall hoping to get a glimpse of her.
Throughout her life, the extended and loyal Cousino family was deeply loved. Each person's birthday and marriage was faithfully recorded and remembered. Relatives' visits were anticipated and appreciated. The seasonal decorating of her health care room provided special joy in these last years.
Mission life began at St. Cecelia's followed by St. Matthews, Detroit, St. Felicitas, Chicago and St. Mary's, Lorain, where she taught sixth to eleventh grades. Principalships followed at St. Charles, Coldwater, St. Felicitas, Chicago, Sacred Heart, Roseville, St. Matthews, Detroit, and St. Mary, Mt. Clemens. Sister had interesting experiences on each mission and left each with a broken heart. The correspondence she maintained with former students down thru the years attests to their appreciation of her. As a principal and superior, Sr. Audrey loved and cared
deeply about the sisters in her school. She modeled prayerfulness, had a wonderful sense of humor and not too many escaped her gardening lessons. Before hospitality was a given in the community, Sister Audrey went out of her way to make welcome sister's visitors and to make sure that those from a distance did not leave without a meal. When she left her last mission, a Sister Audrey Day was declared and the entire city of Mt. Clemens entered into the celebration.
In June, 1975, Sister Rose Estelle asked Sister Audrey to come to the Motherhouse to be of service to the sisters in Liguori. Audrey wrote that "After being in school for 46 years, I found it difficult to accept this decision." No one in Liguori ever suspected this heroic sacrifice.
Sister valued her colleagues and students from her school years. Her voluminous correspondence would daunt most of us, and we would never undertake it. When age and health forced others to help in this regard, the writers were edified by the outpouring of gratitude regarding sister that was expressed in incoming letters.
Many here in the Motherhouse lived through her roles of Liguori service followed by Chapel Sacristan. We watched her spend countless hours in chapel decorating, cleaning and climbing on altars to place a special light in some particular place. How many baskets of funeral flowers she must have taken apart to make lovely bouquets for the altars. What about the hours doing the altar linens? The 18 years in the chapel were years of utmost love since she was near the dear Lord. In 1999, Sister was granted Sacristan Emeritus status and the community had a Sister Audrey Day in appreciation. That was a significant and thrilling occasion for her.
Mention must be made of her trip to the Holy Land. She said that this was the highlight of her life when she and several friends made the trip, led by Bishop Untener. This came at a perfect time as sister ended her sacristan duties.
As her health failed, Audrey moved from independent living to health care with never a complaint, but many expressions of gratitude for the loving care. Her several operations and broken bones were taken in stride. However, in the last year, confinement in one room became almost unbearable because she wanted to roam freely as she had always done. This became a problem and worry for her caretakers. A significant way she occupied her time in health care was with her wide correspondence and personal prayer.
To try to characterize this great woman, we need to hear the words used by peers and friends to describe her: prayerful, committed, community woman, peace-filled, loving, positive and concerned.
This remembering is too short to do justice to a great lady. How does one cover 96 years in a short space? We, however, have had the privilege of experiencing her beauty, graciousness and fidelity.
Sister Audrey concluded her book of life page thus: "I have been blest with a wonderful family, with loving and kind superiors, many faithful friends and loyal students. Truly, the Lord has done marvels for me."
Yes, you did have a wonderful life and now may you rest in peace, our dear friend. You make us proud to be IHMs.
Sister Marie Hopkins, IHM
October 15, 2007
Arthur M Cousino (1886 - 1968)
Loretta Alice Benore Cousino (1890 - 1969)
Audrey Cousino (1911 - 2007)
Viola M Cousino Gaynier (1913 - 1991)*
Marcella Loretta Cousino Morrin (1915 - 1991)*
Pauline Mary Cousino Walters (1917 - 2007)*
Georgetta M Cousino (1919 - 1982)*
Marie Kathryn Cousino Pope (1921 - 2004)*
Kenneth A. J. Cousino (1923 - 1975)*
LaVern Cousino (1925 - 1999)*
Rose Marie Cousino (1927 - 1934)*
Merlyn A Cousino (1930 - 1970)*
Saint Mary Cemetery (new)
Created by: Karen
Record added: Apr 06, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 25782977