RICHMOND HEIGHTS -- Sr. Mary Wilbur McKenzie, FSM, died at 3:50 a.m. Friday, October 2, 2009 at St. Mary of the Angels Convent (Franciscan Sisters of Mary), Richmond Heights, Mo. She was 89.
Born Katherine McKenzie on May 26, 1920, in Leopolis, Mo., she was one of seven children (five boys, two girls) born to William and Elizabeth (Hogan) McKenzie.
Katherine came to know the Sisters of St. Mary when she was hospitalized for a back problem at St. Mary's Hospital, Madison, Wis., where her aunt, Sr. Mary Bernadette Hogan, was administrator. Another aunt and a cousin, Srs. Mary Irene Hogan and Edward Marie Franklin, were also members of the congregation.
Katherine decided to join the Sisters of St. Mary (who in 1987 reunited with the Sisters of St. Francis of Maryville, Mo., to become the Franciscan Sisters of Mary). She entered on August 11, 1944. She requested the religious name Sr. Mary Wilbur in memory of her brother, Wilbur, who died in the armed forces in 1944. She professed final vows on February 11, 1950.
Sr. Mary Wilbur served in the dining rooms and dormitories at St. Mary of the Angels Convent, at St. Joseph's Hospital in St. Charles, and at the convent for Firmin Desloge Hospital (now Saint Louis University Hospital) until 1973, when she left to serve in the convent at St. Mary's Hospital in Madison, Wis. In 1984 she also took on the role of sacristan until she returned to St. Louis in 1998.
After she retired, she devoted time faithfully to the FSM intercessory prayer ministry.
Sr. Mary Wilbur is survived by nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.
A memorial service for Sr. Mary Wilbur McKenzie will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, October 4, 2009, at St. Mary of the Angels Convent, 1100 Bellevue Avenue, Richmond Heights, Mo. The funeral liturgy will be at 6 p.m. Monday, October 5, 2009, at St. Mary of the Angels Convent, with visitation from 4 to 6 p.m. Burial will be Tuesday morning at Resurrection Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the Franciscan Sisters of Mary, 1100 Bellevue Avenue, St. Louis, Mo. 63117.