Sr. Mary M. Roetker, OP, 78


Springfield Dominican Sister Mary Melanie Roetker, OP, died Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, at Sacred Heart Convent in Springfield.

A private Mass of Resurrection was celebrated on Tuesday, Nov. 17. A private burial will be held in Roselawn Memorial Park Cemetery on Wednesday, Nov. 18. A memorial Mass will be celebrated at Sacred Heart Convent at a later date. Butler Funeral Home in Springfield is in charge of arrangements.

Ms. Roetker was born June 19, 1942, in Mattoon, to Harold C. and Elsie (Knollenberg) Roetker. She joined the Dominicans in 1960, and professed her vows in 1962 at Sacred Heart Convent in Springfield.

Her ministerial life was segmented into two parts. For the first 27 years, she educated middle school children. During ten years at St. Mary School in Assumption, she was simultaneously principal and taught English in grades four to eight for four of those years. She also taught in Springfield, Morrisonville, Elgin, Decatur and Chicago. 

After four years at the Hillsboro Religious Education Center, she began a second phase of ministry in retreat work and spiritual direction, ministering first at Benincasa, the Dominican Renewal Center in Riverton, and then at Jubilee Farm. She continued to direct group retreats and provided individual spiritual guidance until 2017.

An only child, she enjoyed a rich life of joy and creativity with her Dominican Sisters and many friends who shared her appreciation for the spiritual life.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Memorials may be made to the Dominican Sisters Retirement Fund, 1237 W. Monroe St., Springfield, IL 62704.

Online condolences may be left at


No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment