Funeral Tuesday for Franciscan Sister Mary Judith Morris

WEST PEORIA — Sister Mary Judith (Jean Marie) Morris, OSF, died on Nov. 26, 2013, at Mother of Peace Home here. She was 78.

There will be visitation on Monday, Dec. 2, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. followed by a memorial Mass at St. Joseph’s Home in Springfield, where she had served as a bookkeeper and administrator for many years.

Visitation also is planned for Tuesday, Dec. 3, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Convent, 2408 W. Heading Ave. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow in the convent chapel. Burial will be in St. Mary Cemetery in West Peoria.

The daughter of George and Rosalia Morris, Sister Mary Judith was born on Jan. 11, 1935, in Evansville, Ind. She entered the Sisters of St. Francis of the Immaculate Conception on Sept. 8, 1953, and professed vows on Aug. 12, 1956.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa, and a master’s degree in speech therapy from Bradley University in Peoria.

A longtime educator, Sister Mary Judith taught at St. Mary School in Henry (1956-57); Sacred Heart School, Annawan (1957-63); St. Mary School, Canton (1963-64); Immaculate Conception Convent preschool and kindergarten, West Peoria (1964-67 and 1968-69); and St. Philomena School, Peoria (1967-68 and 1969-70). She also ministered as a speech therapist in Peoria and Moline from 1972 to 1978, and was bookkeeper for St. Patrick’s Day Care in Peoria from 1979 to 1981.

In 1981, Sister Mary Judith began her long service at St. Joseph’s Home in Springfield, working as a bookkeeper, co-administrator, and administrator, and then as supervisor of the Holy Family Center for the elderly living with dementia.

Preceded in death by her parents, three brothers and four sisters, she is survived by three sisters, Helen (James) Harvey, Teresa (Martin) Osterbur, and Pauline (Ben) Basiz, and her Franciscan Sisters, with whom she shared life for 60 years.

Memorials may be made to the Retirement Fund of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Immaculate Conception, 2408 W. Heading Ave., West Peoria, IL 61604-5096.

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