Obituary | Sister Evelyn Marie Peterman, FSM

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Sr. Evelyn

A memorial Mass for Sister Evelyn Marie Peterman, FSM, will be at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4, at The Sarah Community Chapel in Bridgeton. Sister Evelyn died Nov. 15 at The Sarah Community. She was 88 and had been a Franciscan Sister of Mary for more than 74 years.

Evelyn Marie Peterman was born Dec. 7, 1928, in St. Louis and entered the Sisters of St. Mary on July 29, 1943, receiving the name Sister Cecilia Marie. She professed final vows Feb. 11, 1950.

She earned a bachelor's in pharmacy (1953) and a master's in manufacturing pharmacy (1956), both from St. Louis College of Pharmacy. She completed her associate's in nursing through St. Mary's College in O'Fallon (1971) and earned her BSN through St. Louis University (1979). She became a medical nurse practitioner in 1981, also through SLU. She earned a certificate in biblical spirituality through Catholic Theological Union, Chicago (1991) and completed her residency for CPE certification through SLU Health Sciences Center (1995-96). She was certified in spiritual direction in 2005.

She was a pharmacy aide at St. Mary's Health Center (1946-50). As a pharmacist, she taught pharmacology and pharmacy at St. Mary's Infirmary and St. Mary's Health Center (1953-56). In 1956, she opened the pharmacy at the new Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center, serving as chief pharmacist until 1961.

Over the next 23 years, she ministered in South Carolina, Kansas City, Jefferson City and Hannibal, Mo., and earned her nursing degree. From 1978 to 1984, she directed the SSM Associates.

In 1984, while working in pediatrics at Cardinal Glennon, she learned Swahili so she could serve as a nurse at the FSM mission in Wema, Kenya (1984-89). After a companion, Sister Agnes Reinkemeyer, was murdered during a robbery at the mission, Sister Evelyn returned to St. Louis, and the FSM closed the mission in Wema.

She then served in North Carolina and was a home health care and hospice nurse for Incarnate Word Hospital in St. Louis (1992-94) and for the Barnes-Jewish Visiting Nurse Association (1994-95). She was chaplain for St. Mary's Hospital and Villa Marie Senior Center in Jefferson City (1996-2007), then volunteered there until moving to The Sarah Community in July 2013. She also ministered to prisoners at Algoa and Jefferson City Correctional Centers and helped with retreats for Teens Encounter Christ, Residents Encounter Christ, and Cursillo.

Sister Evelyn loved spending time with friends, enjoying nature, writing letters and cards to family and friends, crocheting, and singing in choral groups. "Throughout my ministries I have enjoyed whatever I was doing because the work involved being of assistance to others who were in need and I was able to help them," she said. "My greatest joy and satisfaction during my years of ministry was when I was in Wema, Kenya, living with the poor and caring for their sick."

Sister Evelyn is survived by a brother, Joseph Peterman, of Redwood Valley, Calif., and a sister, Frances Wood of Spring Hill, Kan. She donated her body to SLU. 

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