Sister Stella Marko, a member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame who taught in parochial schools and worked in an orphanage, died of congestive heart failure June 18 at her order's motherhouse in the Woodbrook section of Baltimore County. She was 87.
She was born Patricia Stella Marko in Philadelphia. In an autobiographical sketch, she wrote that she was enamored of the nuns whose convent was next door to her family's home. After attending public schools, she became a secretary and stenographer. In 1943, she entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame and received the religious name Sister Mary Trudberta. She later used her baptismal name.
She earned a degree in education at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland and began teaching in 1954 at St. Peter School in Libertytown in Frederick County.
Sister Stella went on to assignments at the Blessed Sacrament School on Old York Road, St. Michael's Commercial School in East Baltimore and St. Joseph Monastery Parish School in Irvington.
In 1966, she was a secretary at the Institute of Notre Dame in East Baltimore. She also was a secretary for her order and served on the Baltimore Archdiocese's Family Life Bureau and was a library assistant at the Loyola University-College of Notre Dame Library.
She also held posts for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and worked at its St. Hubert's Catholic High School for Girls and at St. Vincent's Home. She spent 15 years at the children's home in Philadelphia's Tacony neighborhood. She served as secretary, assistant social worker, administrative assistant and payroll director.
In 1998, she moved to Villa Assumpta in Baltimore County, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered June 23.
Sister Stella is survived by a niece, Deborah Barrett of Lansdale, Pa., and several cousins.