Sister Joan Stellern, OP, of the Dominican Sisters, Sparkill, New York, died on December 24, 2021, in Siena Hall, Dominican Convent. She was 92 years old.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, on July 7, 1929, Joan was the daughter of Joseph and Adele Usselman Stellern. She entered the Dominican Congregation of Our Lady of the Rosary in Sparkill on September 8, 1947 and received the name Sister Richard Marie. She professed her first vows in 1949 and final vows in 1954.
Sister Joan received a BA in Education from Webster College, St. Louis, MO, 1958; an MA in History from St. Louis University,1968; and an MLS from St. John’s University, New York, NY, 1975. She received certification in Religious Education from New York Archdiocesan Catechetical Institute in 1989.
Sister Joan ministered in St. Columba School, Chester, NY (1949-1950); St. James the Greater School, St. Louis, MO (1950-1953, 1958-1966); St. Mary Magdalen School, Brentwood, MO (1953-1957); St. Thomas More School, St. Louis, MO (1957-1958); St. Mark the Evangelist School, St. Louis, MO (1966-1968); Cathedral HS, New York, NY (1968-1970); Albertus Magnus HS, Bardonia, NY (1968-1971); Rosary Academy, Sparkill, NY (1971-1976); Aquinas HS as librarian, Bronx, NY (1976-1983) and in the Development Office (1996-2001); St. Joseph Villa, Saugerties, NY (1983-1984). She served as Director of Religious Education at St. Pius X, Scarsdale, NY (1984-1989), St. Dominic Savio, St. Louis (1989-1992) and SS. Peter and Paul, Collinsville, IL (1992-1996). Sister Joan joined the staff at Mt. St. Michael Academy, Bronx, NY, where she served as librarian from 2001-2004.
Sister Joan is predeceased by her parents Joseph and Adele Usselman Stellern and brothers Richard and Robert. She is survived by her sister-in-law Shirley and several nieces and nephews, friends, and her Dominican Sisters and Associates. Sister Joan made a difference in the lives of countless children and adults in her ministry of teaching, religious education, and pastoral presence. She was committed to the Dominican Sisters’ mission of proclaiming the reign of God through ministry for justice and reverence for all creation, living her religious commitment faithfully for more than 74 years. Rest in peace, good and faithful servant, Sister Joan Stellern!