Sister Mary Stephanie, 83, teacher, dietary

April 27, 2002

Sister Mary Stephanie Kerins, who taught first grade for nearly 40 years in three states and served for 11 years at The Villa in Rodgers Forge, died there Sunday of Alzheimer's disease. She was 83.

Born and raised in Washington's Georgetown neighborhood, she entered the order of the Sisters of Mercy in 1940 and took her final vows six years later. Her teaching career began in Georgia, where she taught for 10 years in Columbus, Macon and Savannah.

After brief assignments in Texas, Md., and Huntsville, Ala., she returned to the Maryland region for good in 1962, teaching for more than 20 years at St. Mary's School in Rockville, Holy Trinity School in Washington and Our Lady of Mercy School in Potomac.

"She was a first-rate teacher of excellent character," said Sister Elaine Costello, who lived with Sister Stephanie for the past 30 years. "She was a wonderful Sister of Mercy."

In 1983, Sister Stephanie became head of the dietary department at The Villa, the retirement home of the Sisters of Mercy. She held the post until 1994, when she retired and became a volunteer at Stella Maris. She held a bachelor's degree from Mount St. Agnes College in Baltimore.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Villa, 6806 Bellona Ave. She is survived by a niece, Ann Kerins; and three nephews, Patrick, Stephan and Mike Kerins.

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