Obituary

Sister Mary Sharon Elker served in a variety of ministries

Sister of Mercy Mary Sharon Ekler, who served in education, pastoral ministry and healthcare during her 71 years of religious life, died in Omaha Oct. 31 at age 88. 

A private graveside service was held Nov. 23 at Resurrection Cemetery in Omaha.

Sister Sharon was born and raised in Denver, the youngest of seven children. She followed an older sister to the former Mount Loretto Preparatory High School in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and then into religious life, entering the Sisters of Mercy in 1949. Sister Sharon professed temporary vows in 1952 and perpetual vows in 1955.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from College of Saint Mary in Omaha and a master’s in educational administration from St. Xavier University in Chicago. 

Sister Sharon was an educator for 27 years, including at elementary schools in Des Moines, Iowa, Denver, and Bismark, North Dakota. 

She also taught at several Omaha Catholic schools: St. Wenceslaus from 1952 to 1953, St. Bernard from 1953 to 1956, St. Thomas More from 1963 to 1965 and the former St. Ann from 1965 to 1969. She was principal at St. Margaret Mary School from 1970 to 1973.

But it was her home state of Colorado, and its mountains, that held a special place in Sister Sharon’s heart, according to a written tribute by the Sisters of Mercy.

Sister Sharon eventually returned to Colorado, serving as a parish pastoral assistant, director of a retreat center and a hospital pastoral care chaplain.

She retired in Denver in 2003 and moved to Mercy Villa in Omaha in 2017.