CHATAWA, Miss. — Sister Mary Gottsponer, SSND, age 79, died at the Notre Dame Infirmary at St. Mary of the Pines, Chatawa, Miss., in the early afternoon of January 3, 2014.
Sister Mary, inspired by the School Sisters of Notre Dame who taught her as a young child, became a novice of the congregation, receiving the name Sister Mary Caroline. After profession of vows, Sister taught children in primary and middle grades in Notre Dame Schools of Missouri, Louisiana, Alabama, and Texas.
In 1984 Sister Mary, along with three Notre Dame Sisters, reopened St. Peter’s Catholic School in Pine Bluff, Ark. Sister Mary was the school’s principal for twenty years. National acclaim as an educational leader was given Sister Mary when, in 1988, the National Catholic Education Association presented to her the Distinguished Principal Award.
In 2004, health concerns indicated a less strenuous program after this half-century as educator, and Sister Mary retired to St. Mary of the Pines in Chatawa, Miss. where she assisted in the library until more serious health conditions precluded most physical activity. During the last months Sister was confined to her bed where she died peacefully.
Interment was in the School Sisters of Notre Dame Cemetery, Chatawa, Miss. Memorials may be sent to St. Mary of the Pines; 3167 Old Hwy 51 South; Chatawa, Miss. 39657.