Obituaries

Sister Helen Alwes, CSJ; served as teacher, chaplain

 A memorial Mass was celebrated July 1 at Nazareth Living Center in South County for Sister Helen Alwes, a longtime teacher and chaplain.

Sister Helen died of chronic heart failure June 28 at Nazareth. She was 89 and had been a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 63 years.

Born in St. Louis, Sister Helen entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1945 and made her final profession in 1951. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Avila College in Kansas City, Mo., in 1960. In 1965, she earned a master’s degree in social work from Fordham University in New York.

Sister Helen began her teaching career in 1948. She taught at schools in Peoria, Ill., Kansas City and St. Joseph, Mo., until 1963.

After working on her master’s degree, she went to work with children with special needs at St. Joseph Male Orphanage in Washington, Ga., where she served as administrator. She also was in Atlanta for several years, where she served at Village of St. Joseph as administrator. She also was the administrator of the social service department for the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

Fr. Raymond H. Reis; world’s oldest Jesuit

Father Raymond H. Reis, a retired priest at St. Louis University who was a longtime professor and also had worked as a nurse, died July 19 at age 104 at his university residence.

He was the world’s oldest Jesuit.

A funeral Mass was to be celebrated July 23 at St. Francis Xavier “College” Church, followed by burial at Calvary Cemetery in North St. Louis.

In 2005, when he turned 100, Father Reis told the university’s magazine: “I have had an enjoyable life and I have done a lot that I wanted to do. I used to like to travel, but now I have no plans. I just let things happen.”
Asked if he had any advice for reaching the century mark, he responded with a chuckle: “That’s something that’s a gift from God.”

Born March 25, 1905, in St. Louis, the young Raymond joined the Jesuits in Florissant in 1926 after college. He earned a doctorate in biology in 1940 at St. Louis University and went on to teach at Marquette University in Milwaukee and what is now Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo., both Jesuit institutions.
From 1961 to 1973, he taught biology at St. Louis University.

Sr. Ann Dominic Tassone; math teacher and Avila fan

A memorial Mass was celebrated July 2 at Nazareth Chapel at Nazareth Living Center in South County for Sister Ann Dominic Tassone, a longtime math teacher.

Sister Ann Dominic died June 29 at Nazareth of congestive heart failure at age 88.

Born in Ishpeming, Mich., and named Rose Marie, she entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1940 in St. Louis and made her final profession in 1946. She received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Fontbonne College in 1949 and a master’s degree in mathematics from University of Notre Dame in Indiana in 1955. 

Right after the novitiate Sister Ann Dominic taught junior high students at Sts. Mary and Joseph School in St. Louis, then began 10 years of teaching primary grades, briefly at Notre Dame School in Wellston, then at St. Anthony School in South St. Louis.  She taught math, science and religion at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Florissant from 1954-59 and taught at Rosati-Kain High School in St. Louis, 1961-63.  In June of 1963 she moved to Kansas City, Mo., and began teaching at Avila College.

Brother John Klein; taught at Chaminade in the 1950s

A funeral Mass was celebrated July 9 in San Antonio for Brother John Klein, a Marianist for 65 years who taught at Chaminade College Preparatory School in the 1950s.

Brother John died July 4 in San Antonio. He was 84.

Born in Detroit, Brother John was drawn to religious life even as a youngster. He learned about the Society of Mary through a friend, whose brother was a Marianist.

After graduating eighth grade, he entered the postulate of the Society of Mary in Kirkwood. He professed his first vows in 1943 and his perpetual vows in 1947 at Galesville, Wis.

While a postulant, Brother John became interested in teaching. In 1945, he earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Dayton.

He began his teaching career in 1945 at a grade school in Victoria, Texas, where he taught until 1953.

Later that year, he moved to St. Louis, where he taught at Chaminade until 1959. During his time there, he taught sixth grade and was a prefect for boarding students.

Sr. M.C. Wiederholt, FSM; longtime registered nurse

A funeral Mass was celebrated for Sister Mary Christina Wiederholt, a Franciscan Sister of Mary, July 8 at St. Mary of the Angels Convent in Richmond Heights.

Sister Mary Christina died July 5 at St. Mary of the Angels Convent. She was 95 and had been a religious sister for 79 years.

A native of Northwest Missouri, she was baptized Mary Elizabeth Wiederholt. In 1930 she joined the Sisters of St. Francis of Maryville, Mo. (OSF), who in 1987 reunited with the Sisters of St. Mary (SSM) to become the Franciscan Sisters of Mary. She received the name Sister Mary Christina. She professed final vows in 1935.

She attended St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing, attaining her registered nursing degree in 1935.

Sister Mary Christina served  for many years at St. Francis Hospital in Maryville, Mo., as a nurse, 1935-45; medical/surgical supervisor, 1945-50 and 1970-73; obstetrics supervisor, 1959-64;  night-duty nurse, 1974-76; and assistant administrator and superior of the convent, 1977-79.

Fr. John A. Gambon; served as parish pastor, chaplain

A funeral Mass was celebrated July 13 for Father John A. Gambon at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Washington.

Father Gambon, a retired pastor, died July 7 at Mother of Good Counsel Home in Normandy. He was 89. On June 7, he celebrated the 60th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.

A native of St. Louis, he was baptized at St. Rose of Lima Parish in St. Louis. He attended St. Louis Preparatory Seminary and Kenrick Seminary.

He was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of St. Louis on June 7, 1949, by Archbishop Joseph E. Ritter.

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