Sister Mary Jolitta Konecny, RSM, an alumna, former teacher and assistant principal at Mount St. Mary Academy in Little Rock, died July 20 in St. Louis. She was 84.
Sister Jolitta was born March 2, 1937, in Slovak (Prairie County) to parents John and Nora McDowell Konecny.
After graduating from MSM, she entered the Sisters of Mercy. She received a bachelor’s degree in business education from Fontbonne College in Clayton, Mo., and a master’s degree in secondary education from the University of Arkansas.
Sister Jolitta taught at St. Anne Academy in Fort Smith, saying in a March 2021 Arkansas Catholic article that she still kept in touch with many former students.
She later taught at MSM and served as assistant principal in the 1970s. She assisted at the school until 2016 when she moved to the McAuley Convent in Barling.
Sister Jolitta told Arkansas Catholic in 2017, “The students really looked up to us and it was like having your grandmother around. They felt a certain sense of security, a certain sense of reverence that the Sisters of Mercy were still there.”
She was a bookkeeper and business office manager at Mercy Hospital in Fort Smith. She continued her ministry in health care, supervising the opening of Mercy Hospital in Ardmore, Okla., and working in pastoral care.
In March when the McAuley Convent closed, Sister Jolitta along with two other sisters moved into Catherine’s Residence, the Sisters of Mercy retirement facility in St. Louis.
According to her obituary, “She was born a farm girl, who always cherished creation, especially the gift of the land. She loved anything outdoors, as well as sports, archives and jigsaw puzzles.”
Sister Jolitta is survived by one brother, Joseph Konecny of Garland, Texas; and two sisters, Bridget Konecny Piatkowski of Memphis, Tenn., and Juanita Konecny Butcher of Stuttgart.
A visitation and Mass of Christian Burial was July 23 at Our Lady of the Holy Souls Church in Little Rock. She is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Little Rock.
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