Sr. Vittetoe was in nursing, education


DAVENPORT — Sister Marie Clare Vittetoe (Mary Bernard), CHM, 93, died July 31 at the Humility of Mary Center. She was born May 19, 1927, in rural Keokuk County to Edward and Marcella (Peiffer) Vittetoe.  She attended St. Elizabeth Grade School in Harper, graduated from St. James Grade School in Washington and Washington High School. She graduated from Ottumwa Heights College in Ottumwa with an associate’s degree, Marycrest College in Davenport with a Bachelor of Science degree, and from St. John’s School of Medical Technology and West Virginia University with a master of science and education degrees.
In 1946, she entered the Congregation of the Humility of Mary (CHM). She later served on the community’s cabinet, as senator, and on committees. Sister Vittetoe was a medical technologist and laboratory supervisor at St. Joseph Hospital, taught at the school of nursing  and Ottumwa School of Medical Technology. 

Sr. Vittetoe

She was an assistant professor and division chair of health occupations teacher education in the College of Education at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. This program offered off-campus courses to healthcare practitioners earning bachelor and/or advanced degrees to become certified teachers in Illinois. She recruited, taught, set up student teacher sites and visited student teachers.

Sister Vittetoe was a professor and department chair of clinical laboratory sciences at the University of Kentucky College of Allied Health Professions in Lexington. She was instrumental in establishing an outreach program for students in rural Kentucky to earn off-campus BS degrees in CLS.

An active member of the American Society for Medical Technology (ASMT), she held offices, served on committees, and gave workshops and presentations. She won ASMT Educator of the Year in 1980 and 1990.


She also served as Project HOPE consultant for the University of Haiti Medical Technology Program in Port au Prince and Cap Haitian.  During her 1992 sabbatical she worked and taught in St. Lucia, Guyana and Jamaica.  From 1999-2011 she was volunteer clinical laboratory consultant to Hospital Sacre Coeur Laboratory in Milot, Haiti. She trained technicians and facilitated a new clinical laboratory with automated instruments. She also served as a volunteer consultant and teacher for other labs in Haiti, and as curriculum consultant for the MT Educational Project at the National Public Health Laboratory of Haiti. In retirement, she lived and had a “ministry of caring” for others in Iowa City.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at Humility of Mary Magnificat Chapel.  Per her wish, the rite of cremation will be accorded and graveside services and inurnment will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 8 in St. Mary Cemetery-Keota. Memorials may be made to the Congregation of the Humility of Mary in Davenport or St. James Catholic School in Washington.

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