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Marcia Schrapps, SNJM

Marcia Schrapps, SNJM (Sister Claudia Mary)


Marcia Schrapps, a sister of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, died in the early evening of Jan. 18 at South Hill Village Memory Care in Spokane, Washington.  Sister Marcia was born Marcella Mae to Claude G. Schrapps and Beatrice O’Neill Schrapps on Aug. 20, 1928, in Great Falls, Montana.  A brother, Jerome, was born in 1932. The family moved several times during Marcia’s childhood, and in her junior year of high school she enrolled at Holy Names Academy in Seattle. There, she met the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, and in the summer of 1946, following graduation, she entered their novitiate at Marylhurst, Oregon. On Feb. 5, 1947, Marcia was given the religious name Sister Claudia Mary, and she pronounced her perpetual vows on Aug. 5, 1953. 

Sister Marcia’s higher education included a Bachelor of Science in education from Marylhurst University, a master’s in education for administration from Seattle University, and a variety of classes at Gonzaga University that honed her professional skills and provided support for her personal and spiritual growth. Sister Marcia’s interests were history, music, and drama. Over the next 30 years, from her first teaching assignment in 1948, Sister Marcia taught middle school in parish schools staffed by Sisters of the Holy Names, with assignment changes every few years between Oregon and Washington. She added the role of principal to her resume at St. Mary Magdalen School in Everett, Washington. Sister Marcia accepted an assignment as principal of Holy Names Academy in Seattle in 1977. In 1982, she returned to Spokane, where she served as principal of St. Patrick’s School for 10 years. In 1993, Sister Marcia began a period as an adjunct professor in communication arts at Gonzaga University, and in 1996 she became director of Our Place Community Ministries in the West Central District. She later transitioned to volunteer ministry at the Barton School, and continued her connection to Our Place as a volunteer. She retired to the convent of the Holy Names in 2005 and moved to South Hill Village in 2014. 

The brief biographical outline of Sister Marcia’s life fails to express the heart of this exceptional woman. Found among her papers was a poem written for her that speaks of Sister Marcia’s influence: “… She makes me laugh, she cheers me up when days are dark and gray … She even brought into my life … a furry, friendly poodle dog … A word of praise, a gentle push, she urges me to strive.” Sister Marcia co-authored a book for school children, “Our City Spokane.” She was a history buff, especially in regards to U.S. history and the presidents. She produced many musical plays and dramas during her years as principal. She knew the lyrics to most any of the “old standard” songs, and using the tunes of them, she’d collaborate in writing parodies for community functions. She enjoyed friendships honed over many an evening game of cards. Sister Marcia is fondly remembered as a loving and fun-loving community member; her warmth and caring extended beyond her religious community to the communities of parish, school, or places of social outreach in which she served.

Sister Marcia is preceded in death by her parents, Claude and Beatrice Schrapps, and her brother, Jerome Schrapps. She is survived by her nephew Jay Schrapps (Latha) and niece Claudia McKee and their respective families, her religious community the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary and Affiliates, and the many friends and associates with whom she worked in educational settings or at Our Place Ministries. 

The Sisters of the Holy Names wish to thank the staff of the Memory Care unit at South Hill Village for their compassionate care of Sister Marcia during the final years of her life. 

Funeral arrangements are pending and will be announced later. Memorial gifts may be made to the Sisters of the Holy Names Retirement Fund, PO Box 398, Marylhurst, OR 97036.