A private burial service was held for Sister Mary William Pezold, CPPS, March 21. A Memorial Mass will be held at a later date. Sister Mary William died March 16 at the age of 92.
She was born on Feb. 17, 1928, the first of three children of Herman and Barbara (Neuroth) Pezold-Keim. She was baptized with the name Geraldine at Holy Cross Church in St. Louis Feb. 26, 1928. She entered the novitiate of the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood on July 25, 1947, and professed first vows on Aug. 10, 1949. She studied art, earning a bachelor’s degree from Fontbonne College and a master’s degree from Notre Dame University.
Sister Mary William became an accomplished artist, creating beauty in a variety of media. In 1982, she wrote a reflection on sharing the gift of art with her students. “I have found the art classroom a very special field where the seeds of beauty can be sown and nurtured in the hearts and souls of students,” she said.
Sister Mary William taught at the elementary level at St. James School in Crete, Nebraska; Holy Innocents School in St. Louis; St. Patrick School in Wentzville; St. Peter School in Mendota, Minnesota; and Gateway Academy in Hazelwood. She was a teaching principal at St. Joseph School in Josephville; St. Alphonsus School in Millwood; and St. Mary’s School in Moselle. She shared her love of art with high schoolers at Bishop DuBourg and St. John the Baptist in St. Louis, and St. Mary’s Academy in O’Fallon. She also served for a time in the sisters’ Ecclesiastical Art Department.
After retiring from full-time teaching, Sister Mary William offered individualized art instruction from the art studio at the motherhouse in O’Fallon. These classes were featured in the November 21, 1997, edition of the St. Louis Review, and one of her students told of his awakening to detail: “Things I’ve never learned to pay attention to before, I now do since I came to this class. I saw things, but I didn’t really notice them before.”
Sister Mary William lived her commitment to God and to religious life with strict intensity. She cared deeply about fidelity to the teachings and traditions of the Church and had a deep devotion to the Blessed Mother, always wearing the brown scapular of the Blessed Virgin along with several medals, including a treasured medal of St. Benedict.