Brother Finbar McMullen, 97, longtime member of the Saint Mary’s University community, died on Sunday, May 2, at Catholic Eldercare Nursing Home in Minneapolis.
Born Donald McMullen on March 4, 1924, Brother Finbar attended De La Salle High School and then the Christian Brothers Juniorate (high school) in Glencoe, MO. In 1942 he entered the Novitiate, and then in 1943 arrived at Saint Mary’s College to begin working on his bachelor’s degree. After graduation, he began his career teaching biology, algebra, and geometry, as well as shop courses, in Memphis, Chicago, and the Twin Cities, and then trained young Brothers who chose not to teach in industrial skills which they used in the growing number of schools which the Brothers oversaw.
In 1967 Brother Finbar returned to Saint Mary’s and assisted in the science department, as well as being hall director in several residence halls, including the first co-ed dorm at Saint Mary’s.
The Brother Finbar McMullen Award, established in 1981, is presented to a professional member of the Saint Mary’s Winona Campus community who unselfishly meets the needs of the undergraduate community.
At age 65, he retired from residence hall work but worked in the science shop until he was 75.
Brother Finbar was creative and developed several tools and practical inventions. As remembered as he is for the items he created, he will forever be cherished for the relationships he cultivated with students and graduates, faculty and staff, and family and friends.
He is survived by Brother Arnold McMullen (Winona) and Rosemary Bedor (Minneapolis), many nieces and nephews, and many grand-nieces and grand-nephews, who loved him dearly. Special thanks to nephew Tim Bedor who was his caregiver during the pandemic, and Peggy Carter, who assisted. Brother Finbar was preceded in death by his father and mother, Joseph and Margaret, brothers Eugene, Arthur and Leo, and his sister Eileen.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Thomas More Chapel on the Saint Mary’s University Campus at 7 PM on Monday, May 10, 2021. There will be a visitation at the Chapel beginning at 6 PM. Burial will be in the Christian Brothers section at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Winona.
Gifts in memory of Brother Finbar can be sent to Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Office of Advancement for the Brother Finbar McMullen Endowed First Generation Initiative Scholarship 700 Terrace Heights # 21, Winona, MN 55987.
Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.
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