Sister Lavonne Long, OSF (formerly Sister Frances David), died on June 15, 2018, at the motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg. She was 96 years old. Sister Lavonne lovingly served Scecina Memorial High School as an English teacher, Guidance Director and administrative assistant.
“Scecina has known no greater friend than Sister Lavonne,” said Scecina President Joe Therber. “She was a beautiful person whose gentleness, positive outlook, and wisdom were tremendous gifts to us. Sister truly loved Scecina. Until the end of her life, she believed in each and every student. When I visited her a week before she passed, her love and joyful spirit were still visible.”
Sister’s services will be on Tuesday, June 19, starting with the reception of her body at 1:00 p.m. in the motherhouse chapel in Oldenburg, followed by the funeral Mass at 3:00 p.m. in the chapel and a light supper to which all guests are invited in the motherhouse dining hall.
Sister Lavonne started at Scecina in 1957 and taught English until June 1964. She left to become principal of the former St. Mary Academy in Indianapolis. Sister Lavonne returned to Scecina as the director of Guidance from June 1973 through June 1995, when she “retired.” From 1997 to 2010, she was an administrative assistant at Scecina and a strong Franciscan presence on campus.
Sister Lavonne was born in Rushville, Ind., on May 1, 1922. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Marian University in 1948, a master’s degree in English from John Carroll University in Cleveland in 1963, and certification in guidance and administration from Butler University in 1976. In the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, she also served as a teacher at Most Holy Name of Jesus School in Beech Grove.
Sister Lavonne also served on the Marian University Board of Trustees from 1995-2001. The university awarded her an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 2011 for her “extraordinary contributions in educational ministry.” In June 2010, Scecina hosted a farewell tribute to Sister Lavonne in the gymnasium.Hundreds of friends and family members attended.
At the time, Sister told the archdiocese newspaper, The Criterion: “At every graduation, I find myself thanking all those people who made it possible for someone to go to a Catholic school. One of my chief concerns has always been making it possible for students who want to come to Scecina to be able to do that.”
At the farewell celebration, Scecina announced the creation of a fund to honor her: the Sister Lavonne Long Franciscan Values Scholarships. As part of its commitment to a faith- and values-based education, Scecina invites each East Deanery and partner school principal to submit in January the names of a boy and a girl student who exemplify the Franciscan values of dignity of the individual, peace and justice, reconciliation, and responsible stewardship. These students receive the annually renewable Sister Lavonne Long Franciscan Values Scholarship in the amount of $500 per year. Over four years, the value of the scholarship is $2,000.
Sister Lavonne’s spirit, wisdom, and commitment will be written forever in the legacy and impact of Scecina Memorial High School. May her soul and the souls of all the faithfully departed rest in peace.
Posted on Fri, June 15, 2018
by Beth Murphy