Sister Mary Stephen Sartoris, O.P., died at the Dominican Sisters Motherhouse in Mission San Jose, California, on May 21, 2023. She was 98 years old and in the 77th year of her religious profession.Born on April 21, 1925, in Rockville, Colorado, Sister Mary Stephen was the daughter of John A. Sartoris and Josephine Zontine Sartoris and the younger sister of John (Buster). When she was ready for the third grade, her family moved from Cypress, CA, to Los Angeles where she met the Dominican Sisters at Sacred Heart Elementary School and Sacred Heart High School. In1943, she entered the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose and made her first profession of vows in 1945.In her Dominican community, Sister Mary Stephen may have set a record for her commitment to Catholic education. Over a span of 72 years, she taught first grade for 40 years followed by 32years of service as an instructional aide. At her alma mater, Sacred Heart Elementary School,Sister Mary Stephen taught for 9 years and served as an instructional aide for 18 years. In Los Angeles she also taught at St. Ignatius School and Santa Teresita School. As a young sister she taught at St. Boniface School, Anaheim. In Portland, Oregon, she taught at Immaculate Heart School, St. Therese School, St. Joseph School, and St. Anne School.A love for children, especially little ones in first grade and kindergarten, was the heartbeat of Sister Mary Stephen’s years of ministry. In her retirement she found joy volunteering part-time in the kindergarten of Sacred Heart School. Her outgoing spirit together with her ready laughter and warm smile brought delight to her family, friends and her community.The Rosary for Sister Mary Stephen will be held on Tuesday, May 23, at 3:00 p.m. in the Dominican Sisters Motherhouse Chapel, 43326 Mission Circle, Fremont, CA 94539. The following day, May 24, at 10:30 a.m. the Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in the Motherhouse Chapel followed by burial at God’s Acre, the sisters’ cemetery at the Motherhouse. Those attending the services should be vaccinated and wear masks.Sister Mary Stephen is survived by Nephews Steve Sartoris, Ed Sartoris, Nieces Stephanie Shulman and husband Steve, Cheryl Melin and husband Terry, Denise Sartoris, great-nephew Ryan Wills and wife Alyssa, Great niece Katie Morrow and husband Andrew and Great great-nephew Jaxson Morrow and Great great niece Marlee Morrow, Cousins Most Rev. Bishop Joseph Sartoris, Ret., Catherine Brammer, Steve Moloney and wife Nancy, Joanie Gerard and husband Al, Jim Sartoris and wife Karen, Nancy Baldino and husband Joe, John Moloney, Michael Moloney, Katie Self, Christy Allen, Jim Gerard, Lisa Magley, Steve Sartoris, Nick Sartoris, Tracee Baldino and Joe Baldino.
Sister Mary Stephen Sartoris, O.P.