A funeral Mass for Sister Mary Odile Poliquin was celebrated Oct. 29 at the School Sisters of Notre Dame Theresa Center Chapel in south St. Louis County. Sister Mary Odile, 89, died Oct. 23 at The Sarah Community in Bridgeton.
The second of six children born to Laura (Smith) and Eugene Poliquin on June 22, 1930 in Mattoon, Illinois, she was baptized on July 13, 1930, and received the name Laura Rose. She attended elementary schools in Mattoon, Terre Haute, Indiana and St. Louis. She completed her elementary education at the Cathedral School and enrolled at Rosati-Kain High School, where she was taught by the School Sisters of Notre Dame.
After graduation from high school, she entered the candidature at Sancta Maria in Ripa on Sept. 1, 1948. During her second year of candidature, she was missioned to St. Gerard Majella School in San Antonio, Texas, to teach second grade. She was received into the novitiate on Aug. 1, 1950 and given the name Mary Odile. She had asked for this name since it had been in the Poliquin family for generations. She professed first vows on Aug. 2, 1951 and final vows on Aug. 2, 1957. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the former Notre Dame College in St. Louis in 1964.
As a newly professed, Sister Odile was missioned to St. Jude Academy in San Diego. Two years later, she was transferred to St. Joseph in Holtville, Calif. Returning to the Midwest, she was missioned to St. Agatha in New Athens, Ill.; St. John in Burlington, Iowa; St. Michael in Hastings, Neb.; St. Engelbert in St. Louis; and Aquinas-East in Fort Madison, Iowa. She was also principal at St. Michael’s in Hastings.
After 39 years of teaching primary children, Sister Odile spent a semester working in the dining room at Villa Gesu in St. Louis and a semester studying at the University of Notre Dame learning about parish ministry. In 1991, she returned to her home parish in Mattoon as the director of religious education. She closed the mission in 1998 and came to the St. Louis motherhouse to do community service. She offered to bake and with some hints from her sister who owned a bakery, she began baking for the 100 sisters living there.
In 2007, Sister Odile retired to Veronica House, and in 2015 she moved to Anna House.
Survivors include her sisters, Mary Werner of Frontenac, Odile Lampe of Ellisville, Rita Reilley of Seattle, Wash.; and a brother, Michael Poliquin of St. Peters. Burial was in Sancta Maria in Ripa Cemetery.