Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Loretto Sister Kay DeMarea remembered

Published July 17, 2023

NERINX, Kentucky—A funeral Mass for longtime educator Sister Kay (formerly Sister Josita) DeMarea, SL, will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 22, at Loretto Motherhouse in Nerinx, Ky. Sister Kay died June 8 at Loretto Living Center, Loretto Motherhouse. She was 92 and in the 75th year of her Loretto commitment.

Sister Kay DeMarea, SL

Sister Kay carried out her exceptional teaching ministry for more than a half century in Milledgeville, Louisville, Ky., and St. Louis.

Sister Kay was born Katherine DeMarea April 28, 1931, in Kansas City, Missouri, to Katherine (Mills) and Joseph DeMarea. She was received into the Sisters of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross on April 25, 1949. At Webster University in St. Louis, Sister Kay earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1959 and a master’s in liturgy and catechetics in 1967. She earned a doctorate in special education in 1977 from St. Louis University.

In Milledgeville, Sister Kay was associate professor of education at Georgia College (1976-1983), director of religious education at Sacred Heart Church (1983-1990) and provided private tutorial services (1980-1990).

In the Louisville Archdiocese, Sister Kay taught parochial school students, was coordinator of the Loretto Literacy Program (1990-1995), directed an outreach program in Marion County (1995-2001) and the Loretto Child Care Program (2001-2004), served for a year as a pastoral team member at the Loretto Motherhouse Infirmary and provided community service in Bardstown and at Loretto Motherhouse.

In St. Louis, Sister Kay taught in parochial schools (1951-1952 and 1955-1966), at Webster University’s College School (1966-1976) and at the Loretto Center for Learning, where she offered a special education emphasis (1966-1972), served as a consultant with St. Louis University’s Special Education Department (1973-1976), and was a teacher and chair of the Special Education Department at Fontbonne University (1975-1976). Sister Kay was active in parish music everywhere she had lived and often directed congregational singing.

Reflecting on her years of service, Sister Kay had said, “Everything has been worth it. They have been wonderful years.”

Preceding her in death were her parents, her sister, Barbara DeMarea, and a nephew.  She is survived by a niece and nephew and her dear friend, Suzanne Reasbeck of Bardstown, Kentucky. A wake for Sister Kay will take place at 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 21, at Loretto Motherhouse. Burial will be at Our Lady of Sorrows Cemetery on the Motherhouse grounds. Memorials may be made to the Sisters of Loretto for our mission, c/o Loretto Motherhouse, 515 Nerinx Road, Nerinx, KY 40049 or as an online gift at