A funeral Mass for native St. Louisan Sister Carol Ann Ptacek, SL, was celebrated May 8 in the Church of the Seven Dolors on the grounds of Loretto Motherhouse in Nerinx, Kentucky. Sister Carol Ann died April 29 at Loretto Living Center at the Loretto Motherhouse. She was 82 and in the 62nd year of her Loretto commitment. Among her ministries, she taught and served for nearly a half century as a nurse and administrator at Loretto nursing facilities in Texas, Colorado and Kentucky.
The oldest of seven children, Carol Ann was born April 7, 1941, in St. Louis, to Anita (Brown) and William C. Ptacek. In St. Louis, she attended Most Holy Name of Jesus School and DeAndreis High School, which was staffed by the Sisters of Loretto, graduating in 1959. She was received into the Sisters of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross on May 31, 1962. Sister Carol Ann earned a bachelor’s degree in Latin in 1965 from Webster College (now University) in St. Louis and a master’s in nursing in 1970 from New York Medical College Graduate School of Nursing, Valhalla, New York.
Sister Carol Ann’s first mission was to teach Latin and religion at Loretto Academy High School in El Paso, Texas. For two summers, she worked as a nurse’s aide in the Loretto Motherhouse nursing facility and then served as a part-time aide for a year at Nazareth Hall in El Paso while she continued to teach on a part-time basis.
After three years, Sister Carol Ann knew she had to decide to teach or to nurse. She chose nursing, which proved to be a good decision. After two-plus years at a graduate school of nursing, she earned a master’s in nursing and became a registered nurse. Sister Carol Ann retired from nursing after nearly 45 years caring for the Sisters of Loretto and lay residents in Loretto’s nursing facilities, including as director of nursing at Nazareth Hall (1970-85), health care coordinator at the Denver Loretto Center (1985-92), as a nurse at Loretto Motherhouse Infirmary (1992-95) and as a Convent Community nurse at Loretto Motherhouse (1995-2015). After retiring, Sister Carol Ann served as a volunteer at the Motherhouse in the Loretto Finance Office and wherever needed.
Preceding her in death were her parents and her sister Jacqueline (Steve) Brightwell of Fenton. She is survived by her siblings, William (Sandy) Ptacek of Plano, Texas; Frank (Patricia) Ptacek of Chevy Chase, Maryland; Katherine (Wesley) White of Denham Springs, Louisiana; Barbara (Vito) DiMaggio of St. Louis; and Thomas (Cathy) Ptacek of Kirkwood.
Burial was in Our Lady of Sorrows Cemetery on the Motherhouse grounds.