Sr. Marilyn MacDonagh, OP (Mary Therese)

June 27, 1936 ~ February 20, 2022 (age 85)


Sister Marilyn MacDonagh, OP (Mary Therese) died peacefully at St. Joseph Residence, Seattle on February 20,2022. Sister Marilyn, a Seattle native, was a Tacoma Dominican for 66 years; 50 of those years were spent teaching at St. Patrick School in Tacoma.  

She was born June 27, 1936, and lived in West Seattle, attending Holy Rosary Grade and High School, until she entered the Tacoma Dominicans in 1955. Sister Marilyn made her final profession in 1961 and celebrated her 60th anniversary of profession in 2006. She attended St. Martin’s College in Olympia and Seattle University.

Sister Marilyn taught at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Bakersfield, CA; St. Paul’s, Yakima; Lourdes Academy, Ellensburg; Assumption, Bellingham; and in Seattle at Mt. Virgin, Holy Rosary, and Assumption. She began her 50-year tenure at St. Patrick’s in Tacoma in 1967.

Her great passions were teaching and writing.  At St. Patrick’s, she taught in the primary grades. In addition to the basics, Sister Marilyn loved fostering the faith development of her young students.  She also enjoyed writing and would write poems for her students.  This culminated in a book of her poetry being published in 2016.

Celebrating Catholic Education at a PACE Fundraising Dinner in 1977, Sister Marilyn was honored for her contributions to Catholic education.  She was introduced with the following words: “Through all the ensuing years, Sister has been the epitome of dedication and service to the children entrusted to her care and their parents.  One of her greatest delights is preparing her young charges for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist…. Quiet and humbly, Sister lives out her Dominican vocation of “giving to others the fruits of her contemplation.” Expertise in teaching, dedication, loyalty, an unwavering stance of justice and service, and a deep, abiding love for her faith all characterize this year’s recipient of St. Patrick School’s Service Award”

After retiring from teaching in 2016, Sister Marilyn moved to St. Joseph Residence in Seattle in 2018

She is predeceased by her parents Norman MacDonagh and Mary Margaret Wren MacDonagh. She is survived by her sister Janice Westfall.

A celebration of her life will be on Thursday, March 10, at 11:00 AM at St. Patrick’s Church in Tacoma. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery, Tacoma.

Memorial donations may be made to the Dominican Sisters Retirement Fund, 935 Fawcett Ave. Tacoma, WA 98402. More information can be found by going to




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Funeral Mass
March 10, 2022

11:00 AM
St. Patrick Catholic Church (N. J Street, Tacoma Washington)

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