Sister Germaine Buckingham, MSC
1921 – 2011
Margie Buckingham was born in Lake Arthur, Louisiana, on December 11, 1921. Her parents were Dorothy Reimers and Guy Buckingham. Having entered the Marianites on September 8, 1936, when she was only fourteen years of age, Margie received the name Sr. Mary of St. Germaine at the ceremony of reception of the Marianite habit in 1937. Germaine pronounced her first vows August 10, 1938 and made final profession on August 11, 1943.
Having completed her undergraduate studies at Our Lady of Holy Cross College, Sister attended Our Lady of the Lake College in San Antonio where she graduated with a master’s degree in education. An educator all of her life, Sister Germaine taught elementary school at Holy Name of Mary, Incarnate Word, Sts. Peter and Paul, St. Mary of the Angels, St. Rita, St. Agnes, and St. Andrew in New Orleans, and at St. John, Franklin; St. Edmund, Eunice; Sacred Heart, Ville Platte. When she moved to high school, Sister taught at St. John, Plaquemine; St. John, Franklin; and Central Catholic, Morgan City. She also served as principal at Incarnate Word Elementary School, New Orleans and at Central Catholic High School, Morgan City.
Following a time of caring for her mother who was ill, Sister was named in 1974 Personnel Director of the Marianites in the Louisiana province. Three years later, she joined the faculty of Our Lady of Holy Cross College where she ministered for over twenty years. In addition to teaching mathematics, Sr. Germaine also supervised student teachers who were preparing to teach high school. Prior to her retirement, she assisted in the Academic Skills Center at the College.
Ever faithful in her dedication to her vocation, to her family and friends, Sr. Germaine will be lovingly remembered as being hospitable, caring and entertaining, all of which endeared her to the many lives she touched and inspired through the years. Two of Sister’s favorite pastimes were singing and cooking. Especially when she was expecting visits from her nephews, Germaine would spend hours preparing gourmet meals which she served with relish.
When illness and age brought her to the nursing home, she became a vital part of the congregation there. She could always be heard singing at daily Mass and loved to lead a part of the seven-dolor beads at the sisters’ evening prayers in the chapel. This ceased only when she became bedridden following several strokes. Germaine never complained, and even when she was ill, to those who asked her, “How are you?” she would reply, “If I were any better, they’d put a tax on it!”
Sister Germaine died very peacefully on November 19, 2011 at Prompt Succor Nursing Home. Several of her Marianite sisters were at her bedside when she took her last breath. Sister was less than a month away from her ninetieth birthday.
The funeral Mass was celebrated by Father Bart in Prompt Succor chapel on November 22, 2011. Several members of Sister’s family and some of her very faithful friends were present for her farewell. Her body rests in the Marianite plot at St. Landry Cemetery in Opelousas, Louisiana.
May the Lord grant Sr. Germaine his peace and his joy.