Sister Frances Zeller, a retired elementary school teacher and member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame for more than 70 years, died Friday of complications from dementia at her order's motherhouse in the Woodbrook section of Baltimore County. She was 91.
Frances Leona Zeller was born in Baltimore and raised in Highlandtown. She attended Sacred Heart of Jesus School and was a 1936 graduate of the old St. Elizabeth of Hungary Commercial School near Patterson Park. She was a 1940 graduate of the Institute of Notre Dame and earned a bachelor's degree in education from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland in 1960.
She entered the Roman Catholic religious order in 1938 and received the name Mary Leonelle. She later used her baptismal name.
Sister Frances taught at St. Michael's School in East Baltimore, St. Patrick's in Cumberland, St. Matthew's in Northwood, St. Mark's in Catonsville and St. Mary's in Annapolis. She held posts in Forestville and Philadelphia.
In 1974, after a year in community service at the Sacred Heart of Jesus parish, she became a school secretary and served at Bishop John Neumann School in Southeast Baltimore, the Institute of Notre Dame, St. Elizabeth's School in Rockville and All Saints High School in Washington, D.C.
After leaving the schools ministry, Sister Frances spent a decade in community service to the other sisters at Villa Assumpta in Woodbrook before retiring in 1995.
A Mass of Christian burial was offered Tuesday at Villa Assumpta.
Survivors include three sisters, Doris Stein and Anna M. Williams, both of Perry Hall, and Eleanore Langford of Fort Myers, Fla.; and nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews.