Sister Mary Clare Korte

Sister Mary Clare Korte


Born to Life
November 25, 1921
Pierron, Illinois

June 13, 1940

Born to Eternal Life
May 24, 2020
Sacred Heart
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Mt. Olivet Cemetery
Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Clare was born on November 25, 1921 in Pierron, Illinois.  She was baptized Clare Elizabeth.  Her parents Theodore and Frieda provided a warm and caring home for the Korte family of six children; five girls and one boy.  They lived on their family- owned farm where all of them worked together doing all the required chores.  The children enjoyed creating their own fun and games.

Clare’s elementary school days found her in a rural four-room school, staffed by the School Sisters of St. Francis.  As expected, she received an excellent education.  She loved learning and was an avid reader.  For two years Clare attended high school in Pierron.  In addition to her love of learning she thoroughly enjoyed parties and high school dances.

One day after her sophomore year, Sister Hortensia, who was one of her teachers asked her, “Did you ever think of joining the School Sisters of St. Francis?”  This idea came as a total shock to Clare.  That entire summer she struggled with the idea, continually asking herself, “Should I or should I not?”  She didn’t know if she could give up her good times and many friends.  After much thought and many prayers, the Holy Spirit inspired her to say “YES” and she has lived out that “YES” for the last 80 years!

In August of 1938, Sister Hortensia literally had the Non-Stop train that passed through Pierron, STOP to pick up Clare.  It was a long and anxious trip!  After all, she was only seventeen.  She completed her high school in the Convent and in 1940 was received into the School Sisters of St. Francis.  Clare was given the name Sister Theodorine and was so pleased to be named after her Dad – Theodore.

Upon completing her novitiate, she attended Alverno College where she was prepared to begin her ministry in education.  Her years of teaching spanned all levels of grade school, high school, and principalship, mainly in the states of Wisconsin and Illinois.  For many summers she graciously answered the Community’s request to teach the Aspirants at Madonna.  No matter what level Sister Mary Clare taught, she was known as a gifted teacher who was always kind, caring, affirmative, and friendly.

Sister Mary Clare liked all her missions.  Some have lasting memories.  She was one of the five Sisters chosen to start St. Alphonsus in Greendale.  Many of us here in chapel have been part of that long history.  Then it was to Stockbridge, WI where she met Sister Mary Rose Auler.  From that time on they have been special, supportive, and caring friends.  For the next 17 years they ministered together at Genesee Depot and St. Albert, Milwaukee, then Sister Mary Clare retired from fulltime education ministry.

After that time, she helped a former student who founded a Montessori School.  She said of herself:  “This was one of my happiest times”.  Lastly she worked part time in a Day Care.  She said, “I met many wonderful people along the way.  The lay teachers were great.  My life was challenging but very interesting.

As Sister Mary Clare’s health declined, she spent her retirement years at Sacred Heart.  Having been an avid reader all her life, she now had more time to pursue her interest in reading as well as doing beautiful stitchery.  Daily she thanked God for her religious vocation and the opportunity to have lived with so many wonderful Sisters.  Her mission now was truly one of prayer and presence with the Sisters she so loved for 80 years!

Sister was most grateful for the wonderful care she received from the many Caregivers at Sacred Heart and also for the care and support she received from her faithful friend, Sister Mary Rose Auler.

In this her 80th Jubilee year, Sister Mary Clare never regretted that “Yes” to the call of the Spirit in 1938.  Now Sister Mary Clare, may that same Spirit lead you “NON STOP” to your heavenly home and give you everlasting joy and happiness.

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Sister Mary Clare

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