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April 29, 2009
Mother of 10 earned papal award for charitable work
By Denver Catholic Register
Marie Sevier, a local laywoman who was once called “the Mother Teresa of Denver” for her many charitable works, died on April 19, Divine Mercy Sunday, after a long battle with cancer. She was 85.
Born Marie Lockner on a farm in Minnesota in 1924, she was trained as a nurse before relocating to Denver in 1948. She married Ted Sevier in 1950 and bore 10 children over the next 14 years.
Her children remember her as a generous, lighthearted, ever-curious and indomitable mother.
In the late 1960s, Sevier began a volunteer career that spanned several decades and ultimately led to numerous community awards. She organized the Denver Food Bank Coalition in 1974, initially storing and distributing food for thousands from her Park Hill garage. Later she volunteered for the Stapleton Housing Project and Catholic Charities, and coordinated the Outreach Storefront and Food Basket for the Poor. For these efforts, she received the Mile-High Sertoma Club’s Service to Mankind Award in 1980.
She initiated the first Recovery group in Denver, which assists emotionally ill persons. In 1979 she founded Denver’s first hospice, the Hospice of Peace, and continued to serve on boards of multiple charity agencies for the next seven years until an auto accident slowed her pace.
Sevier was awarded the Benemeriti Papal Medal by Pope John Paul II in 1985.
She is survived by her husband and daughters Patrice Halbach, Colette Souder, Anita Sevier, Loretta Sevier, Maura Burgess and Megan Fante; and sons Ted, Mark, Phil and Dan; 35 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
A funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Louis Church in Englewood on April 24. Memorial donations may be made to Escuela de Guadalupe, 3401 Pecos St., Denver, CO 80211.