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1934 Mary Celeste Dinnen 2024

Mary Celeste Dinnen

September 29, 1934 — May 15, 2024

Fort Lauderdale

Mary Celeste Dinnen

Ft. Lauderdale resident since 1948 and a member of the Pioneer Women of Ft. Lauderdale,  Mary Celeste Dinnen age 89, died peacefully on Wednesday, May 15, 2024.  

Born in Ft. Wayne, IN during the Great Depression, she was the fifth child of Charles Patrick and Thelma Damon Dinnen.  Mary was a member of the last graduating class of St. Anthony’s High School and earned a BS in Education from Barry University.  She studied at Northwestern University and earned an MS in Education/Reading from Florida State University.

Mary served for 30 years as a Broward public school teacher at Sterling and Westwood Heights Elementary Schools, and as a founding faculty member of Nova Blanch Forman Elementary.   She went on to teach for 27 years at St. Jerome Catholic School, specializing in corrective reading.

Mary was the perfect example of an excellent, caring teacher.  She dearly loved her students and the joy of helping them progress.  Her students learned and behaved so well, yet she never raised her voice.  It was like watching magic.  To this day former students or parents will walk up to her family members with stories of how she contributed to their successful lives.

Mary was chosen as “Teacher of the Year” at Nova Elementary school and several times won the Arch Diocese of Miami’s “Golden Apple Award” for best teaching. She also was awarded the Master Teacher Award from the Florida Board of Education and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Barry University.

In 1997 Mary was honored by the National Catholic Education Association as the best Catholic School Teacher in the SE United States, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.   At age 71 she earned the national “Deaver Award for Excellence in Education”.  Upon her retirement from 57 years of teaching in 2013, the Ft. Lauderdale City Commission proclaimed “Mary Celeste Dinnen Day” in Ft. Lauderdale.

Mary was the very center of her family, concerned about each member and always there to offer support.   She is survived by her sister Maureen S, Dinnen, six nieces and nephews: Denise, Michael, Carol, Kevin, and Terry Dinnen, Susan Bartlett, and Barbara Hedgecock, many Great Nieces and Nephews and a number of Great-Great Nephews and Nieces.

A Sunday school (Catholic CCD) teacher, Mary was a life-long Catholic.  She belonged to St. Anthony’s and St. Jerome’s Catholic Churches here in Broward.  

Mary liked sewing, theater, politics, traveling and people.  Her favorite cities were Paris and Chicago.  When faced with a difficult person or event she would urge looking at the issue from the person’s or viewpoint’s perspective.

Mary Celeste was a truly good, honest and interesting person, cherished by family and friends who loved her and will miss her dearly. A wake will be held at T. M. Ralph Plantation Funeral Home on  Thursday from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. A prayer service will be held at 5:00PM at the funeral home. Mass of Christian Burial will be Friday, 10:00 AM at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Fort Lauderdale. Interment will follow at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Cemetery, North Lauderdale, FL.  In her memory donations may be made in her name to the Catherine Dinnen Scholarship at Broward College.  Arrangement entrusted to T. M. Ralph Plantation Funeral Home, 7001 NW 4th Street, Plantation, FL 33317 (954) 587-6888 www.tmralph.com                                        

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Celeste Dinnen, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, May 23, 2024

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

T. M. Ralph Plantation Funeral Home

7001 NW 4th St, Plantation, FL 33317

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Prayer Service

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Starts at 5:00 pm (Eastern time)

T. M. Ralph Plantation Funeral Home

7001 NW 4th St, Plantation, FL 33317

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass

Friday, May 24, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Saint Anthony Catholic Church

901 NE 2nd St, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

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Burial

Friday, May 24, 2024

11:30am - 12:30 pm (Eastern time)

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