Sister Mary Ellen Beyhan, 91, a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth (SCL) for 71 years, died on March 29, 2018 in Ross Hall at the SCL Mother House, Leavenworth, Kansas.
Sister Mary Ellen Beyhan, 91, a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth (SCL) for 71 years, died on March 29, 2018 in Ross Hall at the SCL Mother House, Leavenworth, Kansas. She was a talented and versatile teacher who dedicated over 50 years to students in elementary and secondary schools and colleges.
Mary Ellen was born Nov. 8, 1926 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the oldest of three children of John A. and Olga A. Devero Beyhan. She grew up in Tulsa where she graduated from Holy Family High School. After two years of college, she entered the SCL Community on Aug. 14, 1946 and professed vows as Sister Peter on Aug. 15, 1948. She later returned to her baptismal name.
Teaching was the great love of Sister Mary Ellen’s life and ministry. She taught art to first-graders and all courses to other elementary level students; science, algebra and other subjects in high schools; and biology and chemistry at colleges. Sister earned her undergraduate degree in education and her master’s in biology. While teaching English wasn’t her specialty, one high school student called her the best English teacher he ever had. Sister Mary Ellen was a born educator whether teaching dance routines for school performances or overseeing experiments in science courses.
For three years, she managed apartments for low-income families in archdiocesan housing in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Sister Mary Ellen and her good friend Sister Mary Jo Coyle received accolades for their excellent work – from snow removal to resident relations. However, Sister Mary Ellen was happy to return to the Midwest and to teaching as a college instructor. She completed her active ministry as a pastoral volunteer at Christ the King Parish, Kansas City, Kan. Sister moved to Ross Hall in September 2007.
Her parents preceded Sister Mary Ellen in death. Survivors include her sister Ann Harker and her brother Michael Beyhan, both of Tulsa; nieces and nephews; and the SCL Community.
A vigil will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 in Ross Chapel, SCL Mother House, Leavenworth. Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated in Ross Chapel at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 11, 2018. Interment will follow in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Mother House grounds. Memorial contributions can be made to the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, 4200 S. 4th St., Leavenworth, KS 66048. Arrangements by R.L. Leintz Funeral Home, Leavenworth.