|Birth: ||May 30, 1931|
|Death: ||Dec. 1, 1958|
Father: Louis G. Champagne
Mother: Carmelite Martinez
Brother: Hugh Champagne
On December 1, 1958, a fire broke out in the basement of Our Lady of the Angels catholic school in Chicago, educational home to approximately 1,600 students in Kindergarten through 8th grade.
Our Lady of the Angels school passed a fire department safety inspection only weeks before the fire, because the school did not have to comply with all fire safety guidelines due to a grandfathering clause in the 1949 standards. Existing schools were not required to retrofit the safety devices that were required in all newly constructed schools. In the only positive outcome of the tragedy, sweeping changes in school fire safety regulations were enacted nationwide, no doubt saving countless lives in subsequent years.
But for the innocent victims of Our Lady of the Angels, it was too late.
Sister Clare Therese Champagne was born Eloise Champagne on May 30, 1931 in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Louis G. Champagne and Carmelite Martinez. She graduated from St. Paul's High School in San Francisco, California in 1949, and entered the BVM Community on February 2, 1950.
Heroically, she stayed with her fifth-graders to the very end. She was interred on December 4, 1958 at Mt. Carmel, Hillside,Illinois.
She was intelligent, pretty, and had a pleasant personality and good sense of humor. She was liked by everyone who knew her. She had lots of friends and didn't miss out on having dates.
She loved music and art and was a typical teenager, collecting music albums of the current artists of the 1940's and autographs of her favorite movie stars. She was a typical teenage bobby socker! I could write a book on my dear sister, but there is not enough space here.
While in High School, Sr. Mary Jean Helene, BVM, was Eloise's music teacher and influenced her in making her decision to enter the Convent. She graduated in 1949 and waited, at my parents request, to make certain that she really had the calling for the religious life. She entered the BVM Community in February, 1950 and was very dedicated to her profession.
-- (Dr. Hugh P. Champagne, Brother)
Written by the brother of Sister Mary Clare Therese Champagne
A special thank you to Hans Wolf, for contributing and adding a photo of her grave. Thank you.
Mount Carmel Cemetery
Created by: Damian Omar Plaza in C...
Record added: Oct 23, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 12140264