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St. Norbert School

An Alumni Website

Remembering Sr. Florida -- Terry Ackerman

I live in Dexter, Michigan, with my husband Dan, and work at the University of Michigan. I am a nurse, and for many years worked in critical care, but for past 8 yrs been working in administration as certified nurse case manager. I have 2 daughters and one son, Bryan who is a junior at Dexter High School. We are very busy as Bryan plays hockey, football, and baseball. You can find me either at a field, ice rink, or baseball diamond.
I hope this note finds all of you well.
Terry Ackerman

terry ackerman, 1980

A friend told me about this web site.  Viewed and read several of the entries.  Lots of memories for all.  It was nice to see the pics of Sr. Florida, from the 1980, Ten Year Reunion.  She was a grand ole gal.

For that reunion I picked up Sr. Florida at the Mother house and she stayed with us for about a week.  Florida hadn't changed too much.  Still short, plump, wearing her traditional white habit & black veil.  She was quite a "hoot" with a generous sense of humor.

Upon arriving she had me come upstairs to her room.  At that time, she live in the nursing home part of the convent.  She had me sit in the kitchen for tea and cookies, before starting back to my home.  A couple other older nuns came in to meet me, and Florida just laughed telling me how senile they were, and all she wanted was to "hit the road."  With one simple suitcase, we were on the road.

Upon arriving at my home, I showed her to her bedroom and bathroom.  She was in her room for a while, then emerged a short while later, my eyes almost popped out!  She was not wearing her habit, or veil, but was in a longer length comfortable house dress.  She had short straight gray hair, and rose pink cheeks.  Florida walked through the living room with determination and was headed directly to my kitchen.  She was bound to cook pork chops, and mashed potatoes for me.  (She cooked all week.)

Florida declared, "Now, you will call me by my real name, Ruth," and went on to say, "Ruth Minnus.  But I am used to being called Mini Ruth, by my family, and you can call me Mini Ruth," as all the students that came in to her life were considered by her to be her children.

Well, that set the pace for a most charming week with Ruth.  She was so very excited to attend the 10 year reunion.  It truly was a big deal for her.

Ruth was quite an accomplished educator, and of course had the patience of a saint.  Teaching and learning was her passion.  And she wanted all of us to succeed and to know how much she cared about all of her students.  There were more funnies along the way.  Sadly, that was the last time I saw Ruth.  I did speak with her by phone, but around the time the hostages were taken in IRAN, she became ill.  The convent notified me when she died.  Danny Weiss and I went to her funeral.

When we visited the convent where she was laid out, we were told, Ruth, Sr. Florida, had been in a comatose state for several days, but on the day she died, she awoke, was lucid, and asked if the hostages were free yet.  The sisters told her yes [the hostages were freed January 20, 1981 -- webmaster].  She died that day.

I just wanted to pass on a little info about Mini Ruth.  She will always be in my heart and prayers.  I hope in yours too.

Sponsored by the St. Norbert's Alumni Group