Sr. Aurora Valerio, OP




Born: August 9, 1921
Death: May 21, 2017



Valerio, OP, Sister Aurora (the former Sister Mary Edemia) of Grand Rapids (born inRancho de  Taos, NM) died on May 21, 2017.  She was 95 years old and a Dominican Sister for 78 years. Sister Aurora’s first mission was at St. Joseph, Grand Rapids as a housekeeper.  After some trial and error she became a competent cook and went on to serve in this capacity at many missions including Lake Leelanau; Melvindale; St Francis, Traverse City; St. Mary, Muskegon, and St. John, Essexville.  She also served at Nazareth Hospital in Albuquerque and at Marywood.  Sister served many years in the Congregation’s mission in Chimbote, Peru.  Her duties included the buying for the maternity hospital and supervising the cooking in the hospital.  Sister also assisted with those seeking instruction for the reception of the sacraments and was soon engaged in catechesis.  Her fluency in Spanish and her attentiveness to others were great assets in this work.  Sister Aurora initiated a support group that assisted mothers in childcare, provided mutual support and offered opportunities to learn more about nutrition and also the art and skill of sewing.  Before the word “empower” was commonly used, Sister Aurora had quietly empowered the women in Chimbote with knowledge, skills and confidence to improve their own lives and that of their families.  Her skills as a seamstress live on in her delicate and skilled stitching that created the beautiful pall that is still used today on the caskets of all of the Sisters during their funeral liturgy.  Sister once quietly, yet resolutely exclaimed, “God has been real good to me.” A woman of grace and dignity, Sister Aurora will be greatly missed even as she continues to inspire us by her life of deep faith, her quiet manner and her contemplative spirit.  Sister Aurora is survived by her sister Maria E. Herbert of Lead, SD; her sister-in- law Vickie Valerio of American Fork, UT; nieces, nephews; many friends and members of her Dominican Community.  Sister Aurora will repose at Dominican Chapel/Marywood, 2025 Fulton Street East, with visitation on Thursday, May 25 from 3:00-6:30 pm, followed by a Remembering Service at 6:30pm.  A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 am on Friday, May 26 at DominicanChapel/Marywood.  Burial will be at Resurrection Cemetery. Memorials in Sister Aurora Valerio’s name may be made to the Grand Rapids Dominican Sisters Health Care Fund.

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