Aston, PA—Sister Esther Stewart, OSF, (formerly Sister David Marie), 92, died in Assisi House on Saturday, September 9, 2023. She had been a professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for 68 years. Sister Esther was born in La Grande, Oregon, where she was a member of St. Francis Parish in Baker City and a graduate of Baker High School. She entered the congregation in 1953 and professed her first vows in 1955.  She trained as a registered nurse at St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton, Oregon, and was an RN when she entered the congregation. She ministered primarily in healthcare.

Sister Esther ministered for 16 years in Diocese of Baker, Oregon, where she served as a nursing manager at St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton, St. Elizabeth Hospital in Baker, and St. Joseph Hospital in La Grande.

She served for 44 years in the Archdiocese of Seattle in Washington. Sister Esther was the director of central services at St. Joseph Hospital in Tacoma on three different occasions for a total of 22 years. After retiring from active ministry, she served as a volunteer at the Crisis Center for Women and Children in Tacoma and in local house ministry at Serra House.

Sister Esther ministered for over 9 years in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. In the early 1970s, she was the director of the operating room at St. Agnes Hospital for six years. In 2020 she moved to Assisi House, the congregation’s retirement residence in Aston, where she served in prayer and hospitality ministry until her death.

Additional ministry service included one year in the Diocese of Barranquitas in Puerto Rico where she worked as an obstetrics nurse at the Clinic of Barranquitas.

All services will be held in Assisi House on Thursday, September 14, and will be livestreamed. A Christian Wake Service will be held at 9:30 A.M. followed by viewing. Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 11 A.M. Internment of ashes will follow in Our Lady of Angels Cemetery in Aston. Sister Esther is survived by her sisters, Nancy Denton, Marla Gaye Fox, and Joyce Larofe; her brother Dennis Stewart; her nieces and nephews; and her Franciscan family. Donations in her name can be made to the Sisters of St. Francis Foundation, 609 S. Convent Road, Aston, PA 19014.

To read a more personal write-up on Sr. Esther, click here.

The livestream will begin at 9:30 A.M. To access the livestream, click here: