Sr. Judith Anne
June 17, 1913 – January 10, 2007
On the evening of January 10, 2007 at Taché Centre, Sister Judith Anne (Sheila Kenway) lived her final hour with the same nobility of soul that had characterized her entire life. Born in England on June 17, 1913, daughter of Bernard and Margaret Kenway, the sixth child in a family of nine, she is survived by one brother, Paul, one sister, Judy McGibbon, by two special Winnipeg nieces, Sheila and Jackie Carney, and other nieces and nephews across Canada. Sister Judith Anne is predeceased by five sisters: Constance (Margherita Mary, SNJM), Eileen, Rita, Hilda, and Ruth, and a brother Joseph.
The Kenway family immigrated from England in 1919 to Austin, Manitoba, and moved to Norwood seven years later. Sheila enrolled at St. Mary’s Academy the following year, beginning a relationship that would last a lifetime. After graduating from St. Mary’s College, Sheila entered the Novitiate of the Sisters of the Holy Names in Outremont, Quebec, to commit herself to God in Religious Life. She pronounced Vows in 1937, and returned to Winnipeg as Sister Judith Anne to begin a career in education that would span four decades.
Sr. Judith Anne taught at St. Mary’s Academy and College, and served as Principal of St. Mary’s Academy, Dean of the College, and Principal of St. Boniface Diocesan High. She taught at the University of Manitoba in the Faculty of Education where she was awarded Medal of Excellence. She earned a Master’s Degree in Classics and a Doctorate in Education. Her students fondly remember Sr. Judith Anne as an inspiring teacher who bequeathed to those she taught a lasting love for Literature. She exerted a strong influence on her students, encouraging and challenging them academically, supporting them in life decisions, and praying for them. She possessed a deep compassion for the poor and upon retirement from the field of education, volunteered at the Sunday Drop-In at the Immaculate Conception Parish for over twenty years, during which time she became Boss of the kitchen, treating all with compassion, and the firm hand of a good teacher.
Sr. Judith Anne dearly loved her family, remaining in touch over the years, visiting those who lived at a distance when this was possible. In the words of her brother Paul, in a letter sent for her Golden Jubilee, “Sheila, your faith, love, and understanding have been an inspiration to your sisters and brother, and our children.” Sister Judith Anne will be remembered as a feisty, faith-filled woman with a sense of humour.