The funeral Mass for Sister Elizabeth Merkel, DC, was celebrated April 17 at The Sarah Community’s Marian Chapel in Bridgeton. Sister Elizabeth died April 14 at The Sarah Community. She was 88 years of age and was a Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul for 70 years.
Born in 1931 in St. Louis, Sister Elizabeth (baptized Lois Jane) was one of three girls born to John George and Elizabeth J. (Smith) Merkel. She graduated from Laboure High School in St. Louis in 1948. She also earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Fontbonne College in St. Louis in 1959 and a master’s degree in education from Loyola University in New Orleans in 1971.
Sister Elizabeth entered the Daughters of Charity in St. Louis from St. Philip Neri Parish in St. Louis in January 1949. Following initial formation, she served as a primary teacher at St. Thomas School in Long Beach, Miss., (1950-54); then, was missioned to St. Joseph Grade School in New Orleans (1954-56) where she served as a middle school teacher.
Sister Elizabeth continued her service as a primary teacher at the following schools: St. Patrick Grade School in San Francisco, Calif. (1956-57); St. Thomas Grade School in Long Beach, Miss. (1957-64); St. Boniface School in Perryville, Mo., where she also served as principal (1964-66 and 1975-83); and St. Joseph Grade School in New Orleans (1966-75). She was missioned to Our Lady of Victory in Beeville, Texas, (1983-89) to serve as an elementary principal, before returning to serve as a primary teacher at St. Mary Central Catholic School in Odessa, Texas (1989-94) and St. Margaret of Scotland School in St. Louis (1994-96). In 1996, she taught at St. Mary Central Catholic School in Odessa (1996-2006).
In 2006, Sister Elizabeth served as docent at the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Emmitsburg, Md.; then, went to St. Joseph School, Edinburg, Texas, where she served as a tutor for religious education, (2007-11). In 2011, she entered the ministry of prayer at The Sarah Community in Bridgeton, where she served until she died.
Sister Elizabeth twice served in Texas as local community superior. She also served on two boards in New Orleans: DePaul Hospital, (1965-66) and Hotel Dieu, (1972-73).
Sister Elizabeth is survived by a sister, Rose Foshage. Burial was in Marillac Cemetery in Normandy.