Sister Michael Helene Purfield 1924-2018

November 20, 1924 -February 25, 2018

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Sister Michael Helene Purfield, CSJ who passed away on Feb. 25 at Nazareth Living Center in St. Louis, Missouri. She was 93 years of age.

Sister Michael Helene, baptized Marian, was born on November 20, 1924, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to parents Col. Emmett J. and Helen (Carson) Purfield. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on February 11, 1944, and made her final profession on August 15, 1949. She received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from St. Louis University in 1958.

Sister Michael Helene taught elementary education in 1946 at St. Patrick Grade School in University City, Missouri.

For the next 35 years, she dedicated to nursing. In 1947, she was a nursing student at St. Joseph Hospital in Kansas City. She went on to become the obstetrics nursing supervisor at St. Joseph Community Hospital in Hancock, Michigan, (1951-1954) and then at St. Joseph Hospital in Kirkwood, Missouri (1954 to 1957).

Upon receiving her bachelor’s in nursing in 1958, Sister Michael Helene returned to St. Joseph Hospital as an obstetrics nursing supervisor until 1964. At that time, she left to study anesthesiology at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana. Two years later, she went back to Kansas City and St. Joseph Hospital where she served as a nursing supervisor.

In 1969, Sister Michael Helene moved to Dayton, Ohio, and worked for 13 years as a nurse anesthetist at the Anesthesia Association of Dayton. In 1982, she returned to her hometown of Colorado Springs to care for family. Then, in 1995, she transitioned into pastoral ministry, serving for 19 years at St. Paul’s Parish as a pastoral minister (1995-2005) and as the coordinator for homebound ministry (2005-2013). She retired in 2013.

 Since 2014, Sister Michael Helene lived at Nazareth Living Center where she carried out her ministry of prayer and presence


Sister Michael Helen’s funeral arrangements are Thursday, March 1 with the visitation at Fey Funeral Home, 4100 Lemay Ferry Road, St. Louis, MO 63129 from 9 to 10 a.m., followed by interment at Resurrection Cemetery. A Memorial Mass will be held at Nazareth Living Center, 2 Nazareth Lane, St. Louis, MO 63129 at 3:30 p.m. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, St. Louis Province, 6400 Minnesota Ave., St. Louis, MO 63111-2899. Donate online.

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