Born in Chattanooga, Sister Mary Evelyn was the daughter of the late J.D. and Clara Stolz Potts, and she attended Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga. She entered the Dominican Sisters in 1959, and made her profession of vows in 1961.
Over the course of 53 years, Sister Mary Evelyn served as a teacher or principal in Catholic schools in Tennessee, Alabama, Ohio, and Virginia.
In Nashville, Sister Mary Evelyn served on all three schools of the Dominican campus operated by St. Cecilia Congregation. She served on the faculty of St. Cecilia Academy for 11 years from 1966-1977, and again from 1987-1989. She served as principal of Overbrook School from 1983-1987, and president of Aquinas College from 1994-2002. She was well-loved by her students and faculty members, as well as by members of the Dominican laity whom she assisted for several years throughout the 1990s.
In the Diocese of Knoxville, Sister Mary Evelyn served at Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga from 2010-2015. For the last seven years Sister Mary Evelyn helped run Bethany Retreat House, the congregation’s retreat house in Dickson, Tenn.
She is survived by two brothers-in-law, Daniel P. Merriman, of Ringgold, Ga., and Bobby F. McKeel of Chattanooga; seven nieces, Joan Kammer, Janet Jones, Kathy Rittgers, Ann Thomas, Mary Beth Adkins, Annette Palmer, and Margaret Merriman; and a nephew, John Fox. The funeral Mass was offered on Aug. 13 at St. Cecilia Motherhouse, with many sisters, relatives, and friends in attendance.