Birth: Jan. 1, 1910
Profession: Jul. 31, 1945
Death: Feb. 16, 2011
Death of revered teacher and centenarian Claire Saizan, RSCJ
Claire Saizan, RSCJ, a revered teacher who believed educators are mystics “driven by a love to share,” died in her sleep on February 16, 2011, at Oakwood, the Society of the Sacred Heart retirement center in Atherton, California. She was 101 years of age.
She was born on January 1, 1910, to Paul Sarazin Saizan and Marie Demoruelle Saizan, in New Orleans, Louisiana, grew up there, and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1930 and a master’s degree in 1932, both in English, from Loyola University, New Orleans. She then taught elementary school in New Orleans and, in 1936, entered the novitiate of the Society of the Sacred Heart at Kenwood in Albany, New York. She made her first vows in 1938 and her final profession in 1945.
Sister Saizan taught for four years, 1940 to 1944, at Villa Duchesne, St. Louis, Missouri; for two years, 1945 to 1947, at Academy of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans; for twelve years, 1956 to 1968 at Academy of the Sacred Heart, Cincinnati, Ohio; and for nine years, 1968 to 1977 at Maryville University in St. Louis.
She taught for thirty-six years, in four separate stints, at Schools of the Sacred Heart in Grand Coteau, Louisiana. Though best known as a French teacher, she also taught English, history, Latin and math. She was noted for her love of history and politics and her enjoyment of a good argument – but most especially for her love of the Society of the Sacred Heart and of her students. “Generation after generation,” she said,” all for the glory of God.”
In 2002, Sister Saizan joined her RSCJ sisters at Oakwood, where her appreciation of intellectual curiosity gave life to the community. On January 1, 2010, a former pupil in Paris sent 100 pink roses, and the Oakwood community and friends from the Bay area joined her in a celebration of one hundred years of life.
The funeral Mass for Claire Saizan, RSCJ, will take place at 10 a.m. on February 26 at Oakwood, 140 Valparaiso Ave, Atherton, California. She asked to be cremated, and her ashes buried at the Academy of the Sacred Heart cemetery in Grand Coteau, Louisiana; a Mass and burial will take place there on Saturday, March 26 at 11 a.m.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Society of the Sacred Heart, 4120 Forest Park Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63108.