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Sister Charlene served as educator, pastoral associate


Sister Charlene

Sister of Mercy Mary Charlene Ross, whose 70 years of religious life included service as a teacher, pastoral associate and director of religious education, died July 8 in Omaha. She was 89.

A funeral Mass was held July 11 at Mercy Villa with interment at Resurrection Cemetery in Omaha.

A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Sister Charlene entered religious life in 1948, professed first vows in 1951 and final vows in 1954.

A graduate of College of Saint Mary in Omaha, she worked as an elementary school teacher for 33 years, with an emphasis on music education, primarily in Catholic schools in the Diocese of Kansas City/St. Joseph in Missouri.

She also taught in Omaha, at St. Margaret Mary School from 1955 to 195,6 and the former St. Patrick School from 1956 to 1957, as well as at schools in Lincoln and Denver.

Sister of Mercy Jeanne Christensen, friend and former housemate, said Sister Charlene was an outstanding educator.

“Everything I knew about teaching in elementary school, I learned from her,” Sister Jeanne said.

Sister Charlene’s niece, Sister of Mercy Marilyn Ross, admired her aunt’s honesty and compassion. “She was a strict but compassionate teacher, especially to those who had trouble learning,” Sister Marilyn said.

Following her teaching career, Sister Charlene served as pastoral associate and director of religious education at parishes in Kansas City.

After her retirement in 2011, Sister Charlene moved to Omaha, where she lived until her death.

Sister Charlene was preceded in death by parents John and Ruth (Parrish) Ross; brother, John Ross; and sister, Dorothy Kelling. She is survived by the Sisters of Mercy, including her niece, Sister Marilyn Ross; brothers Bernard and Fred Ross; many nieces and a nephew.

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