The death of Sister Mary Corita Conlan, 85, is mourned by her religious community, the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, and her network of friends in Topeka, KS. Sister Mary Corita died on Jan. 1, 2013, in her convent home in Topeka, surrounded by her cousin Jiggs Elphison and the Sisters with whom she lived, and supported by the prayers of all who loved her.
Sister Mary Corita was born on May 12, 1927, in Butte, MT. Her parents, Leo H. and Marguerite Lundgren Conlan, named their only child Lona Lee. She attended Lincoln, St. Patrick's, and McKinley Grade Schools, graduated from Girls' Central High School in Butte, and later joined the Sisters of Charity in February, 1949.
After professing her vows on Feb. 14, 1951, Sister Mary Corita began her teaching career at Cathedral School in KCK. In the fall of 1951, she was sent to Assumption School in Topeka. She taught at Sacred Heart and Most Pure Heart of Mary Schools in Topeka, Immaculate Conception School in St. Marys, KS, St. Rose of Lima School in KCK, St. Mary's School in Lees Summit, MO, and was principal at Sacred Heart School in Leavenworth before returning to Assumption Grade School, now called Mater Dei, in 1967. Sister Mary Corita was principal there until she retired in 2006. For four months in 2008 she was the administrator of Sacred Heart School, Emporia, and St. Joseph School in Olpe, KS. She received a Master's degree in Elementary School Administration from the University of Saint Mary.
In addition to being an excellent educator and administrator, Sister Mary Corita was a gifted musician, and directed choirs in Topeka since 1952. She was also involved with and administered the sandwich ministry at Mater Dei Parish.
Survivors include cousins, including Jiggs Elphison, Butte, MT; a multitude of friends; and her SCL community.
On Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, Sister's body will lie in state from 2:00 - 6:30 p.m. at Mater Dei Assumption Church in Topeka, followed by a Prayer Vigil at 6:30 p.m. which will conclude the evening. On Saturday, Jan. 5, a funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m., also at Mater Dei Assumption Church.
On Monday, Jan. 7, Sister's body will be taken to Leavenworth, where a vigil will be held at 7:00 p.m. in Ross Chapel of the Sisters of Charity Mother House. Friends may call after 4:00 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Ross Chapel at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 8. Interment will follow in Mount Olivet Cemetery on the Mother House Grounds. Kevin Brennan Family Funeral Home, Topeka, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to www.kevinbrennanfamily.com. Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of Charity Retirement Fund, 4200 South 4th ST, Leavenworth, KS 66048.