sister ellen hucker
March 19, 1922 - June 23, 2012
Helped Others Find Jesus
S. Ellen Hucker became a sister of St. Joseph, "so that she could help others find Jesus, and in finding Jesus, they would find salvation." Indeed, she undertook this commitment with her whole heart, giving herself in service to children and to every other kind of neighbor throughout her life.
The daughter of Aurelius and Ellen Raus Hucker, she was born on March 19, 1922, in St. Louis and named Dorothy Anne. Within this loving family of four girls and three boys, the seeds of her vocation were nourished by family prayer and her Catholic education at St. Philip Neri School, where she was taught by the Sisters of St. Joseph. When she left home to enter religious life, the Sisters of St. Joseph, whom she deeply loved, were her only choice. On March 19, 1947, she was received and given the name S. Ellen Aurelia.
As a novice, S. Ellen had begun her studies to become an elementary school teacher. After her profession in 1949 and until 1971, she was totally absorbed in her teaching in both primary and intermediate grades. She taught everywhere: Denver, Littleton, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Peoria, Chicago and Hannibal. In 1971, her classroom teaching ended when she left St. Viator’s in Chicago, but not her stay in school. She moved across town to St. Bede’s, serving as that school’s secretary for the next 13 years.
In 1984 S. Ellen moved to St. Louis, becoming receptionist and secretary in the province offices and a staff person in the finance office at Carondelet. Her reliability and her skills of careful attention to detail and accuracy made tasks easier, more efficient and less stressful. While living at Carondelet, she also helped with hospitality, preparing rooms and greeting visitors.
In 1993 school life beckoned her once more and she joined the school staff at St. Anthony’s in St. Louis as a library aide. Helping children to choose books, listening to them and working with them on classroom assignments, S. Ellen endeared herself to the children and teachers alike. All appreciated her gentle, caring presence.
S. Ellen moved to Nazareth in 2001, a difficult move. Prayerful as always, she asked God to help her accept the changes in her life. Despite her physical suffering, S. Ellen remained pleasant and cooperative. She willingly moved to McGovern Commons when it became necessary, trusting that the staff would care for her. Her special joy: a piece of chocolate candy or a chocolate shake.
Throughout her life S. Ellen was generous with her time and presence: helping a child who needed just a bit more; volunteering on a project in the parish or school, always making herself available for others. How natural then that she decided to donate her body to St. Louis University. Rather self-deprecating most of her life, S. Ellen knows now just how precious she is in God’s loving embrace. May she rest in peace.
by S. Rita Louise Huebner