Sister Teresita was born on June 5, 1924, in Red Bud, Illinois, one of eight children of Christian and Helen (Kelly) Kern. She made her first profession on July 1, 1941, and her final vows on July 1, 1946.
She was a member of the Dietary Managers Association and was certified in food service supervision and sanitation.
She spent 60 years in the industry, first as assistant cook, head cook, and housekeeper, then later as food service manager.
She started as a housekeeper at convents in Waterloo, Murphysboro, and O’Fallon, all in Illinois, and Vienna, Mo.
Later, in Illinois, she served at St. Teresa Academy in East St. Louis; the Ruma Center; the King’s House Retreat Center in Belleville; Weier Nursing Home in Belleville; St. Ann Healthcare Center in Chester; Clementine Residence, formerly a home for retired ASC sisters in Red Bud; Loretto Home and Catholic Children’s Home, both in Alton.
She also managed dietary services at three Illinois hospitals that were then sponsored by the former Ruma Province, namely St. Joseph Memorial in Murphysboro, St. Clement (now Red Bud Regional) Hospital in Red Bud, and St. Vincent (now Taylorville) Memorial Hospital in Taylorville.
She supervised the kitchen at St. John Cantius Seminary in St. Louis and at De Mattias Hall, the Adorers’ House of Studies on the campus of Saint Louis University.
She enjoyed friends and family, prayer life, music, candle-making, and bingo.
Even after retiring to the Ruma Center in June 2003, she helped in the kitchen and cross-stitched quilt blocks. Her spirit of joy and friendly smile persisted till the end.
Sister Teresita is survived by Sister Lucille Kern, ASC, nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, cousins, and the ASC community.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Leo (Erna), Joseph (Cora), Simon (Mary Ellen), and James, who died in infancy; and her sisters Helen (Clem) Schlotman and Sister Wilfreda Kern, ASC, as well as several nephews and a niece.
She is buried in the convent cemetery.