JOHNSTON — Sister Mary Hilary Veith, CHM, 96, formerly of Ottumwa, died April 20 at Bishop Drumm Care Center in Johnston.
Mary Elizabeth Veith was born June 26, 1925, in Keokuk to Hiller J. and Mary Magdalen Heinz Veith. She entered the Congregation of the Humility of Mary in 1955 and professed vows in 1958.
Sister Veith began her service caring for children at the Christ Child Home in Des Moines in 1958, but turned instead to a life of volunteer ministry serving the isolated. She described her work as visiting the shut-ins, including “people who are confined to their own homes, the nursing homes and the jail,” but she also learned sign language and transcribed books into Braille, opening communication with those whose isolation was sensory.
The Library of Congress certified her as a Volunteer Braille Transcriber in 1975. Her outreach ministries earned awards and recognition at the local and state level; she was awarded the “Ottumwa Good Samaritan” award in 1972, multiple certificates of appreciation from the Iowa Department for the Blind, The State of Iowa Governor’s Volunteer Award in 1990 and a Certificate of Recognition from the State of Iowa in 2004. In 1978, she received the Human Relations award bestowed by the First United Methodist Church in Ottumwa, which declared Sister to be “one whom Christian ethics are practice, not theory.”
Her funeral was held April 27 at St. Mary of the Visitation Church in Ottumwa with burial at Mt. Olivet Cemetery on the Indian Hills Community College campus.
Memorials may be made to the Congregation of the Humility of Mary.