A funeral Mass for Sister Mary Frederick Keller, SSND, was celebrated April 16 at the School Sisters of Notre Dame motherhouse in south St. Louis County. Sister Mary Frederick died April 12 at the age of 103.
Born in Belleville, Illinois, she was baptized at St. Peter Cathedral in Belleville on Sept. 30, 1917, and named Mathilda Louise.
She attended St. Peter Cathedral Grade School and the Academy of Notre Dame in Belleville. She was inspired by her older sister to enter School Sisters of Notre Dame. She entered the candidature at Sancta Maria in Ripa in 1935. After two years of college courses, she was missioned to teach 54 fourth-grade girls at St. Francis de Sales School in St. Louis during her third year of candidature. She was received into the novitiate in 1938 and given the name Sister Mary Frederick after her father. She professed first vows in 1939 and final vows in 1945.
The St. Louis Province was in need of science teachers so Sister Mary Frederick was sent to Saint Louis University to complete her studies for a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and math. For the next 30 years, she taught science and math at Rosati-Kain High School in St. Louis, St. Peter High School in St. Charles and Notre Dame High School in St. Louis County, and at schools elsewhere in Missouri and Illinois.
In 1971, she requested a change of ministry. She was missioned to Villa Gesu in St. Louis as the director of housekeeping and maintenance. She also spent a year of community service at the former St. Louis motherhouse. She took several extension courses in bookkeeping and then served in the finance office at the former Notre Dame College in St. Louis. When it closed in 1977, she became the director of finances at Notre Dame High School in St. Louis.
In 1995, Sister Mary Frederick was assigned to work in the Notre Dame Tutorial Center at Sancta Maria in Ripa. She reorganized and maintained the textbook library, teaching aids and supplies. She also ministered as the coordinator of senior services for the former St. Louis Province. She was a member of the planning and implementation committee for the 2000-03 renovation of the former St. Louis motherhouse.
In 2006, she retired to Veronica House at The Sarah Community in Bridgeton.
Burial was in Sancta Maria in Ripa.