sister margaret camper

(S. Sarita Clare)
June 23, 1922 - December 21, 2015
Loved teaching, loved to tease, a joy-filled thoughtful woman


Myron and Jennie (Toney) Camper, both Lebanese, had immigrated to America in their early teen years. They didn’t meet one another until years later when Myron moved to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, where Jennie had settled. They married, welcomed four sons, and were living in Green Bay, when their first daughter, Margaret, arrived on June 23, 1922. (Four years later, another daughter, Lorraine, arrived.) 
 Margaret’s family moved to West De Pere where her father opened an ice cream parlor. Her elementary education was at the local public school. By the time she was ready for high school, the family had moved back to Green Bay where Margaret attended St. Joseph Academy. She recalled her Academy years as happy ones and remembers writing a gossip column, Camper’s Capers, for the school paper. That sometimes got her called to the principal’s office when parents became incensed about something written about their daughters. She didn’t remember being in too much trouble over it. Of the sisters, she said, “We found them to be very refreshing human beings, but at the same time we saw them, clearly, as religious women.” 
Her parents, expecting her to go to college, were shocked when she told them she wanted to enter the convent. Assuring them that she would come home if she decided that the life was not for her, they gave their consent. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on September 15, 1940, and was received as Sister Sarita Clare. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Fontbonne College (1951) and a master's in English from Marquette University (1960).
S. Sarita Clare was a primary teacher in St. Louis at Nativity of Our Lord School (1943); St. Roch School (1948) and at St. Anthony of Padua School (1951). She ministered as a high school English teacher at Sacred Heart Central, Indianapolis, Indiana (1954); St. Francis de Sales, Denver, Colorado (1955), and St. Pius X, Atlanta, Georgia, where she also served as the head of the English department (1962). Then she taught English at Fontbonne College from 1965 to 1989.
Retiring from Fontbonne, S. Margaret became circulation department head at the Kirkwood Public Library (1989). In 1995, she volunteered as a tutor at Even Start. In 2003, she volunteered to assist the Community Life Staff at Nazareth Living Center until beginning her ministry of prayer and presence at Nazareth Living Center in 2011.
Sister Margaret was a member of Sectional 8 ... We often shared table discussions, and I found her to be very open and generous of heart. She was kind and thoughtful in her interactions, often finding ways to disagree while maintaining harmony ... I dearly loved being with S. Margaret ... Associate Cathy Hart
... I was missioned to St. Anthony of Padua all-boys school to teach second grade in 1951. How fortunate I was to find there one of the most outstanding primary teachers of the time ... Sister Sarita Clare. Sarita was generous with her assistance to us as we struggled to find our way through those first years of teaching. She was also a barrel of fun! Sister Paulette Gladis
Because I had the joy—and I do mean joy—of living with 
S. Margaret in the little house (St. Agnes at the time; later the president's residence) I did not want to let the opportunity of writing a little about her to pass by. Margaret loved teaching English and taught conscientiously. She talked about her subject in lively terms ... No doubt she made her subject come alive for her students at Fontbonne ... She could tease with a truly straight face and she could enjoy another's being confused about whether or not she was telling the truth. Sister Ida Berresheim
S. Helen Oates
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