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OBITUARY | Sister Mary Louise Vandover, SL

Sr. Vandover
A funeral Mass for native St. Louisan and longtime educator Sister Mary Louise (formerly Sister Mary William) Vandover, SL, was celebrated June 21 in the Church of the Seven Dolors on the grounds of Loretto Motherhouse in Nerinx, Kentucky.

Sister Mary Louise, affectionately known as Sister Billie, died June 12 at Loretto Motherhouse Infirmary at age 85 and had just celebrated her 60th year as a Sister of Loretto.

Born Feb. 13, 1937, to Mary Louise (Dimond) and Lewis Samuel Vandover, Mary Louise entered the Sisters of Loretto in 1961 from Annunciation Parish in Webster Groves. She was received into the Loretto congregation on May 31, 1962, made her first vows in 1964 and celebrated final profession in 1969. Sister Billie earned a bachelor’s degree in English, with a minor in Spanish, in 1959 from Webster College (now University) and a master’s in English in 1967 from Saint Louis University.

For all her six decades of religious life, Sister Billie worked for justice and acted for peace. Two years before entering the Loretto novitiate, she taught at Nerinx Hall High School in Webster Groves. Sister Billie again taught at Nerinx from 1965 to 1976, when she was named associate principal/English department chairperson. She served in this capacity until late 1980, when she suffered a brain trauma that forced early retirement in 1981 to Loretto Motherhouse, and her acceptance of total care began.

Many considered Sister Billie “a living saint among us.” She was sensitive to others, her prayers were from the heart, she was warm and curious with a mind filled with wonder. She did clerical work and performed many other services for the Loretto Community from 1981 until her death. She jumped into anything where she could be of help, like helping in the finance office or with infirmary projects and entertaining other sisters. She loved participating in community discussions related to Loretto life and mission. Until her death, Sister Billie remained responsive, courageous, loving and a gift to all.

Burial was in Our Lady of Sorrows Cemetery on Motherhouse grounds.

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OBITUARY Sister Mary Louise Vandover SL 7704

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