A funeral Mass for Sister Marie Virginia Strubhart was celebrated Oct. 28 at Theresa Center of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in Lemay. Sister Marie Virginia, 99, died Oct. 18 at DePaul Hospital in Bridgeton. At the time of her death, she was the oldest living sister in the former St. Louis Province of the School Sisters of Notre Dame. She had a 49-year career in elementary education.
The second of 10 children, she was born in Aviston, Illinois, and attended elementary school at St. Francis of Assisi in Aviston. It was a public school at that time with the School Sisters of Notre Dame as teachers. Known as Margaret Mary, she entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1940, attending the aspiranture at Sancta Maria in Ripa for her high school education. She and made her first profession in 1943 and final profession in 1949.
Sister Marie Virginia received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Arkansas State University in 1953 and a master’s degree in elementary administration from Saint Louis University in 1972.
In the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Sister Marie Virginia taught at Our Lady Queen of Peace School from 1986-92; was administrator and then a seamstress for the sisters’ liturgical fabric arts department from 1992-2012; served as postmistress at the motherhouse from 1992-99; took part in community service at the motherhouse from 1999-2011; and served in prayer and presence and community service at Theresa Center from 2011-13. Sister Marie Virginia then was missioned to Veronica House at The Sarah Community in Bridgeton.
Sister Marie Virginia also served as a teacher at middle schools and elementary schools in Illinois, Arkansas, California and Nebraska.
Sister Marie Virginia was known as encouraging and supportive of the children she taught, the sisters she lived with and her friends and colleagues. She was a faith-filled person who shared her love of Jesus with those she encountered.
Survivors include two sisters, Gertrude Frey of Highland, Illinois, and Elizabeth Salemi of Oldsmar, Florida. Burial was in the Sancta Maria in Ripa Cemetery.