Sister Betty McLellan, SNJM

(Sister John Daniel)

October 31, 1927 – May 25, 2024

Sister Betty McLellan, SNJM departed this life on May 25, 2024 at South Hill Village in Spokane, Washington.

Sister Betty celebrated 96 years of life and 72 years of her religious profession.

A Mass of Resurrection will be held Saturday, June 22, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church in Spokane, Washington.

Burial will follow at 2:00 p.m. at Holy Cross Cemetery in Spokane, Washington.

Elizabeth McLellan, SNJM

(Sister M. John Daniel)

Sister of the Holy Names Betty McLellan (Sister M. John Daniel) died Saturday, May 25, 2024, at South Hill Village in Spokane, Washington. Sister Betty was born October 31, 1927, to John D. McLellan and Elizabeth McCann McLellan in Butte, Montana, and was baptized and received her First Communion at Sacred Heart Parish. Following her mother’s death in October 1934, Betty lived in Ireland with her mother’s sisters and while there was confirmed at St. Columba Parish. Betty returned to Butte and completed her elementary and high school education in Butte. It was when she enrolled at Holy Names College (Spokane) that Betty met the Sisters of the Holy Names and where in the spring of 1950 she completed her bachelor’s degree in education. On July 25th of that same year, she entered the novitiate of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary at Marylhurst, Oregon. In February of 1951, Betty was given her religious name, Sister M. John Daniel and received her Holy Habit; she pronounced perpetual vows in August of 1957.

Sister Betty was an educator whose ministries focused in two main areas: elementary education in parish schools and the Associates’ program for the Sisters of the Holy Names of the then Washington Province. Having completed her college education before entering the novitiate, Sister Betty began her teaching career while a postulant. She would tell of riding the bus into Portland’s Holy Redeemer Parish to teach first grade during the week and returning to Marylhurst on Friday afternoons to attend formation classes. She delighted in, and made lasting impressions on, her first graders in parish schools in Portland, Spokane, Eugene, Richland, Seattle, and Auburn. She was the founding principal of Holy Family School (Auburn) and there was assigned as superior of a local community for the first time. Her final years as teacher and principal were dedicated to providing leadership at Sacred Heart’s Cataldo School as Spokane parishes consolidated their elementary programs. During her years of teaching, she completed a Master of Arts in English from Gonzaga University. Bidding farewell to the classroom, she was soon on her way to visit family in Texas and to a much-deserved sabbatical. Her return to Spokane began the second focus of Sister Betty’s life of ministry. Her leadership skills were now called upon as Director of the Heritage and Horizons Program (Fort Wright College, Spokane) and in 1986 began her years as Director of the Associate Program for the Sisters of the Holy Names.

An outline of Sister Betty’s ministerial life in no way captures the myriad friendships she shared with people over her long life. Her spiritual influence and sensitivity to the needs of others, plus her desire and ability to meet those needs was paramount for her. Her view of life was expansive and all-inclusive, and all who came to know her were soon in her sphere of concern and in her prayer. Sister Betty’s enduring impact on others was for one to know they were respected, valued, and loved unconditionally. Her abiding love for her community, her family and friends can be gleaned from the many memorable reflections she wrote and presented at funerals, jubilee celebrations or community functions which captured in words the person/s or event being honored.

Sister Betty was preceded in death by her parents, John and Elizabeth McLellan; her brother and sister-in-law, John and Marie McLellan; and her grandniece Kathryn McLellan. Sister Betty is survived by her McLellan nephews, Michael (Donna), Patrick (Anne Martt), Neil (Ruby), and Dan (Noma); grandnephews, Keith (Elizabeth) and Sean; grandnieces, Aili and Kelsey McLellan; Bob (Karen) Williams; the families of Bill and Patricia DeVries (Spokane) and Mary B. Riordan (Butte) of which Sr. Betty was an honorary member; the Sisters and Associates of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary; and friends too numerous to count.

The Sisters wish to thank Sister Betty’s caregivers from Love At Home, especially Heather and Sarah, and the staff of South Hill Village for their care of Sister Betty during her 10-year residency.

Sister Betty’s funeral is scheduled for Saturday, June 22, 2024, 10:00 AM, at Sacred Heart Parish, 219 E Rockwood Blvd., Spokane, WA 99202. Burial, the same day, is at 2:00 PM, at Holy Cross Cemetery, 7200 N Wall Street, Spokane, WA 99208.

Memorial gifts may be made to Sisters of the Holy Names Retirement Fund, PO Box 398, Marylhurst, OR, 97036 or online at