Cover photo for Sister Michelle Dermody, Phjc's Obituary
Sister Michelle Dermody, Phjc Profile Photo
1933 Sister 2023

Sister Michelle Dermody, Phjc

March 5, 1933 — October 30, 2023

Sister Michelle Dermody, Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ, peacefully passed to eternal life on October 30, 2023 at Catherine’s Cottage, Donaldson, IN.

As the youngest of four children, Sr. Michelle was born in Hammond, IN and in her words, began her first roller coaster ride! Her parents, Michael V. Dermody and Mary Cecil O’Connor, brother Michael (Micky), her sisters Bernadette Hufford and Margaret (Peg) Johnson and brother-in-laws, Richard Hufford and Robert Johnson, as well as many Poor Handmaid Sisters preceded Sr. Michelle in death. Sr. Michelle is survived by numerous nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.

Joan Dermody entered the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ on January 6, 1956, taking the name of Sr. Michelle. She professed vows on July 16, 1962.

With a focus on education, her ministry of teaching included schools in Indiana— Gary St. Mark’s, Mishawaka St. Monica’s, East Chicago St. Mary’s and in Chicago—St. Henry School.  Her ministry expanded to include parish religious education and youth ministry at: St. Ansgar in Hanover Park, IL; St. Bavo in Mishawaka; St. Rosalie in Harwood Heights, IL; Faith, Hope and Charity in Winnetka, IL. St. Catherine in Wellingborough, England. After studying sign language at Gallaudet College for the Deaf, Sr. Michelle also served the deaf community at St. Augustine’s in Cleveland, OH. Residents and staff were also blessed with Sr. Michelle’s loving presence when she served at the Catherine Kasper Home as assistant coordinator.

Sr. Michelle loved sign language and saw it as an art form, as well as a means of communication. She often used it as a personal expression of her spirituality. She will be remembered for her Irish wit and humor, celebration of life, joyful perspective and the smiles she brought to everyone she met.

Because of Sr. Michelle’s wish to be cremated, there will not be a viewing. Because storytelling was so natural to Sister Michelle, her wake service will include telling of stories.

The wake and funeral will be held on Friday, Nov. 3, 2023, at Ancilla Domini Chapel, Donaldson, IN. Directions best through this address: 9601 Union Road, Plymouth, IN, 46563. All times are EST

Wake Service and Storytelling— Friday, November 3, 2023, 10:30 am

Mass of Christian Burial— Friday, November 3, 2023, 11:15 am

For those unable to attend in person, the Mass of Christian Burial will be livestreamed at


Memorial contributions to the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, P.O. Box #1, Donaldson, IN 46513 or on

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sister Michelle Dermody, Phjc, please visit our flower store.


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