School experiences lead to lifelong friendships

Meet our donor Sharon Stutes

Sharon and Russell StutesOur Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic School in Lake Charles, Louisiana, offers education for children from six weeks to eighth grade. It has been a cornerstone of Sharon and the late Russell Stutes’ lives. Our Lady Queen of Heaven has been the school for Sharon’s four children, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren for 50 consecutive years.

Our Lady Queen of Heaven was also where the Stutes first met the School Sisters of Notre Dame. In particular, the couple developed a close relationship with Sister Gloria Cain.

Sharon’s favorite memory of her family’s time at Our Lady Queen of Heaven and their experiences with Sister Gloria happened when her son was in the sixth or seventh grade. Her son was trying to continue his record of no absences for an entire grade school career when he woke up ill one morning. Sharon tried to talk him into staying home but was unsuccessful. He was determined not to break his goal. At school, Sister Gloria realized the boy was running a fever and needed to go home, but she also could not convince him.

“Sister Gloria called me that morning and said, ‘I won’t count him absent, if you come get him,’” said Sharon with a chuckle. “I picked him up and he made it through the school year without missing a day of school. Ultimately, our experiences with the sisters led us to becoming donors. The sisters had been such an integral part of our children’s lives. This is our way of assisting them in retirement.”

Story featured in donor newsletter Vol. 1 2018.

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