Sister Mary Jean Assell dies in Concordia at age 84

September 8, 2016 by


Sister Mary Jean Assell

Sister Mary Jean Assell died this afternoon (Sept. 8, 2016) at Mount Joseph Senior Village in Concordia. She was 84 and had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Concordia for 66 years..

She was born in Aurora, Ill., on April 13, 1932, to Carl Jerome and Jeanette Baird Assell, the third of three children, and was baptized Mary Jean. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on Sept. 7, 1949. On March 18, 1950, Mary Jean received the habit of the Sisters of St. Joseph and was given the name Sister Charles Marie, later returning to her baptismal name. She pronounced first vows on March 19, 1951, and final vows on March 19, 1954.

Sister Mary Jean received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Marymount College in 1962. In 1972 she received a master’s degree in religious education from Seattle University. From 1954 to 1967, Sister Mary Jean taught elementary grades in Schoenchen, Salina, and Plainville, Kan., and Silver City, N.M. From 1968 to 1977 she served as Religious Educator in Grand Island, Neb. Beginning in 1977, Sister Mary Jean served as Religious Education Coordinator in West Burlington, Iowa, for 25 years. She retired from active ministry in 2002 and lived at Medaille Center in Salina. In 2006 Sister Mary Jean moved to the Motherhouse, and then moved to Mt. Joseph Senior Village in 2014.

Sister Mary Jean was preceded in death by her parents and one sister. She is survived by her sister, Pat Krebs, of Plainfield, Ill.

The vigil service will be Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m. in the Sacred Heart Chapel at the Nazareth Motherhouse in Concordia, with Sister Sylvia Winterscheidt as eulogist. The funeral Mass, with Father Jim Hoover presiding, will be Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 10:30 a.m., also at the Motherhouse. Burial will follow in the Nazareth Cemetery. Nutter Mortuary, 116 E. 6th St., Concordia, is in charge of arrangements.

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Memorials for Sister Mary Jean Assell may be given to the Sisters of St. Joseph Health Care/Retirement Fund or the Apostolic Works of the Sisters; P.O Box 279, Concordia KS 66901. To make an online donation in Sister Mary Jean’s memory, click on the button below:



5 Responses to “Sister Mary Jean Assell dies in Concordia at age 84”

  1. Philomene Reiland on September 17th, 2016 12:53 pm

    Mary Jean, going to miss when I go home to Concordia! Will save the Observers for S. Alice Marie! Your love for little children was a great inspiration to me all my life. It taught me much. May you enjoy the Beatific Vision with your Mom, Dad, and Joan.

  2. Mary Fran Simons on September 12th, 2016 4:24 pm

    Mary Jean will certainly be missed. She was such a warm caring woman.She touch so many little children’s lives with her kindness in her ministry to them.

  3. Cam Koerber on September 9th, 2016 4:07 pm

    She will be missed.

  4. Jodi Creten on September 9th, 2016 3:56 pm

    Taught Mary Jean to drive when we were missioned in Silver City. Now she is certainly in the perfect driver’s seat and can rest in God’s peace. Rest in peace, Mary Jean. Hope your dad is supplying you with all the chocolate your heart desires!

  5. Susan Klepper on September 9th, 2016 1:24 pm

    R.I.P. Sister Mary Jean as Christ welcomes you home.
    My sympathies to the Concordia Sisters and to her family.

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