Mrs. DeWine was born on Oct. 23, 1942, in Dalton, Ga., and grew up there among lifelong friends until she was a freshman in high school, when her mother moved the family to Decatur, Ga., in 1956. She attended Sacred Heart School before transferring to the new Pius X High School, where she graduated in 1960. She went on to Sacred Heart College in Cullman, Ala., where she met her husband, Larry DeWine. They were married on Sept. 2, 1963, at Sacred Heart Church in Atlanta. They were married for 54 years before he passed away in the summer of 2018.
Mrs. DeWine lived a life that radiated undeniable faith, contagious joy, and a profound freedom rooted in her complete trust in the promises of her savior, Jesus Christ. Her faith was a lifelong work in progress always grounded in prayer, Scripture, and personal relationships. She sought out God’s message in every phase of life and strived to be His faithful servant. In 1985, she returned to college, where she earned a degree in English from the University of Tennessee. She went on to complete a master’s degree in theology and pastoral ministry from Loyola University in New Orleans.
Her faith was nurtured through contemplative prayer, active study, and her writing. She entered the Carmelite religious community in 2004 and made her definitive promise as a secular Carmelite in 2009, serving as president of the community from 2009-2014. She served God and her community on the Provincial Council for two years until her health began to decline. She remained active in her Carmelite family and through her spiritual journey she brought so many others closer to Christ.
Mrs. DeWine, who was deeply rooted in her Catholic faith and loved the Church, is preceded in death by her parents, John Henry Wilbanks and Maria Catena Wilbanks; by her husband, Larry DeWine; and siblings John Wilbanks and Mary Wilbanks Lohre.
She is survived by her children, Jennifer DeWine Borek (Brian); John William DeWine II (Vanna); Kathryn DeWine Perry (David); and David Bradley DeWine (Mary Susan); and grandchildren Robert, Patrick, Brianna, and Carrie Anne DeWine; Natalie, Elisabeth, Davis, and Duncan Perry; and Jonah and Nina DeWine; as well as a host of in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins, and godchildren.
A funeral Mass for Mrs. DeWine was held on July 20 at the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, with Bishop James V. Johnston Jr. celebrating. Bishop Richard F. Stika concelebrated the Mass, and Cardinal Justin Rigali was in choir.
The family said donations in Mrs. DeWine’s memory can be made to the Ladies of Charity, 120 W. Baxter Ave., Knoxville, TN 37917.