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  • Writer's pictureCorinne Mercer

The Five Generations of St. Croix's

Updated: Jul 2, 2021

Ursula McDonald St. Croix was one of 6 children who walked to school from Franklin St. back in the late 1920's. Graduating in 1929 from IHA, she went on to become a nurse at the old Mercy Hospital while raising her 6 children. Her husband John Albert (Al) volunteered at IHA and was integral in helping form IHA's Athletic program's along with being on the Executive Board for the School.

Ursula and Al's 2nd son James D. St. Croix, commonly referred to as "Dunk" since his middle name was Duncan, also walked to school everyday from their family home on Franklin St., just like his mom before him. James was very active at IHA, playing on the basketball and football teams and he was also involved in theatre. Dunk met the love of his life at Immaculate Heart, Janice Anne Traynor, who also graduated from IHA. James graduated in 1951 and Janice in 1952 and a few years later married. James went to serve in the Navy, and then returned to become a postal service carrier. Eventually, he became a politician for the local county board and volunteered at Sacred Heart and IHC. Early on in their 63 year marriage, they did what most good Catholics do and had 8 children of their own, all of which graduated from IHC.

Their second child was Jayme M. St Croix who graduated in 1974. Jayme, or "Papa Jay" as he is lovingly referred to around school, worked as a superintendent for the Watertown Parks and Recreation Department for over 36 years. During that time he and his wife JoAnn (Class of '75) raised four children of their own, all while serving the community they love. Jay has served on Catholic school boards, coached at IHC and other local Catholic grade schools, as well as being a substitute teacher from time to time. He now spends a lot of his time being the resident photographer for IHC, documenting just about everything that goes on throughout the school year.

Jay and JoAnn's four children all went to IHC, continuing the family legacy. Their fourth child, Jill St. Croix Netto was also very active in school, and graduated in 2000. She went on to become a dental assistant, all while volunteering for the elderly, and coaching different sports for the Cavs. Jill also had four children of her own who all attend IHC. Julia, Jill's first child, just graduated a few weeks ago. She will be attending St. John Fisher in the fall, where she hopes to major in education and work with youth as she has done for years while attending IHC. Julia received the Boots Gaffney Award this year, which her mom also received when she graduated. Julia's dad Anthony Netto also graduated from IHC, class of '99.

We wish Julia well on her new journey, and pray that she soars at St. John Fisher. Maybe one day she'll come back to Watertown to continue the legacy, only time will tell. We are grateful to have the long line of St. Croix's as members of the IHC family. They have been a strong part of our history since the beginning of the school, and have given so much of themselves to help with it's success. May God continue to bless them, and keep them close, and may our Blessed Mother always be with them.

Stay tuned for more Alumni stories in the coming weeks here on our new Alumni Page. If you have any suggestions or amazing Alumni stories, reach out to our Director of Advancement and Marketing, Rob Paskill, here.

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