Sister Mary Estella 

Sister Mary Estella              ND 4105            PDF Download

Joan Agnes PERKINS

Immaculate Conception Province, Chardon, USA

Date and Place of Birth:              September 6, 1928     Toledo, Ohio
Date and Place of Profession:   August 10, 1948           Toledo, Ohio
Date and Place of Death:            May 29, 2023               Sylvania, Ohio
Date and Place of Funeral:         June 5, 2023                Whitehouse, Ohio

“My spirit finds joy in God my savior.”

Sister Mary Estella Perkins entered into her eternal home on the morning of May 29, the feast of Mary, Mother of the Church. How fitting this date for a Sister who revered the Holy Name of Mary. Like Mary, Sister Mary Estella was ready to fulfill God’s will during her 94 years of life including nearly 75 years of religious life.

Born the fourth child to Frank and Stella (Gioffiron) Perkins, Joan grew up with three brothers and four sisters in St. Louis Parish in Toledo. Their mother died unexpectedly when Joan was just ten years old and thus Joan attended St. Anthony Orphanage. She attended Notre Dame Academy for four years as an Aspirant graduating in 1946.

Joan was quite familiar with the Sisters of Notre Dame as her house was next door to the Sisters’ house. From an early age, Joan wanted to be a Sister. She had a special devotion to Our Blessed Mother Mary so wished to take Mary as her special patron. She would simply put an “E” in front of her mother’s name, Stella, and her name would then become Sister Mary Estella. Her patron: Mary, Star of the Sea.

Soon after her profession she spent eight years teaching grades two and three in Catholic schools in Toledo. Then began over 50 years in community service at the Notre Dame Provincial House on Secor Road, Toledo; at Lial convent in Whitehouse; and at St. John, Delphos, in Ohio.

Whether in service or retirement Sister was an avid reader, who often clipped interesting articles to share. When visitors did not find Sister in her room, they knew her favorite spots were in the library and outdoors. Sister is remembered for her contagious laugh and twinkling eyes. She could easily be coaxed with her favorite treats. For these treats and any small kindness Sister was quick to express her gratitude.

In 2000 she was privileged to join the group of Sisters on the Charism Pilgrimage. She talked for years about this experience and what it meant to her. In 2015 Sister became a resident at the Ursuline Center in Toledo and then in 2021 at Rosary Care Center in Sylvania, Ohio. In her prayer-filled retirement years Sister faithfully prayed the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet on EWTN.

A short stay in the hospital preceded admission into Ebeid Hospice of Sylvania, Ohio. It was there, on May 29, the feast of Our Lady, Mother of the Church, that Mary led her by the hand into the loving Hands of her Beloved. May she rest in peace.