A funeral Mass for Sister Mary Therese Esswein was celebrated Sept. 30 at the Nazareth Living Center chapel.
A retired educator, bookkeeper and receptionist, Sister Mary Therese, 83, died Sept. 26 at Nazareth.
Born in Kansas City, Mo., she moved with her family to St. Louis after her father died. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet after completing high school in 1953 and was received into the novitiate in 1954 as Sister Alice Marie. She began teaching primary grades at Holy Name School in St. Louis in 1956 and attended Saturday classes at Fontbonne University, eventually earning a bachelor's degree in elementary education.
In 1962, she taught at St. Jude School in Overland and the next year at St. Roch School in St. Louis. In 1967, she returned to Holy Name and two years later taught for a year at St. Margaret of Scotland School in St. Louis. Sister Mary Therese then taught in Wisconsin and Oklahoma before returning to St. Louis in 1976 as a bookkeeper at Nazareth Convent, acquiring an expertise in Medicare and insurance bills and benefits. She served as province treasurer and office staff member at the St. Joseph Provincial House from 1982-84 and as a bookkeeper at St. Joseph's Academy from 1984-87. After another stint working at Nazareth, Sister Mary Therese began serving at Cardinal Ritter Senior Services, first as a bookkeeper, then as a receptionist and in personnel. She served as a receptionist and aide at the Regina Cleri residence for retired priests from 2002-05 before retiring and volunteering at St. Joseph Apartments in Shrewsbury and then moving to Nazareth in 2009.
One of her favorite pastimes was to crochet. She produced hundreds of afghans over her lifetime.
Survivors include three brothers, Ted, Larry and Leo Esswein, all of the St. Louis area. Burial was in Resurrection Cemetery.