Sister Rita Marie Helldorfer

Age 91: History teacher, librarian.

May 08, 2008|By Jacques Kelly

Sister Rita Marie Helldorfer, a member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame who taught history, died of a stroke May 1 at her order's retirement home in the Woodbrook section of Baltimore County. She was 91.

She was born Rita Regina Helldorfer in Baltimore and raised on St. Paul Street in Charles Village. She and her twin sister, Teresa, were the 11th and 12th children of brewer Frank Helldorfer and his wife, the former Anna Rueter.

She attended Notre Dame Preparatory School from first through 12th grade, when the school shared grounds with the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. She earned a bachelor's degree in history from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland in 1939. She entered the religious congregation in 1942 and later earned master's degrees in history and library science from the Catholic University of America and Villanova University.

Sister Marie taught history at Notre Dame Preparatory School in Baltimore from 1944 to 1967. She later taught and was a school librarian in St. Petersburg, Fla.

She returned to Baltimore in 1981 and was leader and coordinator at Villa Assumpta, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered Tuesday.

Her twin sister, Sister Teresa Marie, died in 2003.

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