Sister Marie Joyce, 89

Ex-provincial also was a schoolteacher

November 29, 2007

Sister Marie Joyce O'Keeffe, a retired parochial school teacher and official of the Sisters of St. Francis, died of complications from Alzheimer's disease Friday at her order's retirement home in Aston, Pa. She was 89.

Born Catherine O'Keeffe in Boherbu, County Cork, Ireland, she entered the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia in 1936 and received the name Marie Joyce. She earned a bachelor's degree in education from Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg and had a master's degree from St. Bonaventure University in New York.

Sister Marie Joyce taught at the Shrine of the Little Flower in Belair-Edison from 1940 to 1944, St. Katharine of Sienna in East Baltimore from 1944 to 1955, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Essex from 1955 to 1956. She taught at the Catholic High School of Baltimore on two occasions, from 1956 to 1970 and from 1974 to 1986.

From 1970 to 1973, she was provincial, or head, of the former St. Joseph Province of her order. From 1986 to 2005, she visited the elderly throughout Northeast Baltimore and was stationed at the Shrine of the Little Flower Parish on Belair Road.

She also held posts in Wilmington, Del., and Jacksonville, N.C.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. today at Assisi House, 600 Red Hill Road in Aston.

Survivors include her sister, Nora McAuliffe of Mallow in County Cork, Ireland; nieces; a nephew; and a grandniece.

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