SISTER MARGARET VIRGINIA BLUM, OP
SISTER MARGARET VIRGINIA BLUM, O.P.
Sister Margaret Virginia Blum, O.P., died peacefully on Holy Saturday, April 11, 2020 in Saint Catherine of Siena Convent, Caldwell, NJ having been a member of the Sisters of Saint Dominic for eighty years. Born in California in 1921, she grew up in Rutherford, N.J, graduated from Saint Mary’s High School and in 1939 entered the first freshman class of Caldwell College for Women.
Subsequent education included a BA in Social Studies from Caldwell College, an M.A. in American & European History from Seton Hall University, and post-graduate study in History, History Teaching and Constitutional Law under grants from Dayton and North Western and The New School of New York.
Sister Margaret Virginia’s active ministry, from 1941-1999, was evenly divided between education and financial development administration. At the elementary level, she taught from grades 1-8 in N J parochial schools in Jersey City, Irvington, Paterson, and Clark; at the secondary level, she taught in Saint Mary’s Rutherford and chaired the Department of History in Union Catholic High School, Scotch Plains. Her responsibilities in administration included Grants and Corporate Relations at Caldwell College, Alumni at Saint Dominic Academy, Treasurer and Grants Director at Mount Saint Dominic Academy.
Sister Margaret Virginia was an outstanding teacher. She never let anyone forget that her first students included college president and Prioress Sister Patrice. All former students remember her history classes as “an unforgettable experience.” Her fiercely partisan engagement sustained an atmosphere of excitement, of predictable unpredictability. Her approach to everything: involve as many people as you can. Both alumni and faculty from Union Catholic High School remember her best as the “director and producer” of the Democratic National Nominating Convention for which classes were suspended to enable every single student and teacher to participate. For anyone who ever lived or worked with her, it is impossible to picture Peggy “resting in peace.”
Sister Margaret Virginia was preceded in death by her parents, Ralph and Theresa, her brothers, Bob and Dick, her sisters Virginia, Marion, Jane (Sister Therese Adele OSF), her nephews, Dick Blum and Bobbie Higgins. She is survived by numerous nieces and nephews and grandnieces and nephews.
A conventional sister’s published obituary does not encourage a sui-generis profile. In quarantine from the ritual of shared remembrance in which to express our sense of corporate loss we simply say: You will be missed, Peggy. You were one-of-a-kind!”