Sister Bertha Duperry

BIDDEFORD - Sister Bertha Duperry, formerly known as Sister Rolande-Marie, 96, died Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, at Southern Maine Medical Center, Biddeford. Bertha was born April 18, 1916, in Van Buren, the youngest child in a family of 10 children born to Napoleon Duperry and Odelie Pelletier.

She attended Keegan Elementary School, then Sacred Heart High, Van Buren. In 1940 Bertha entered the Congregation of the Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, also known as the Good Shepherd Sisters of Quebec, in Biddeford. After her initial training in religious life, Sister Bertha spent a year at our Good Shepherd Scholasticate, Quebec City. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in education from St. Joseph College, Windham, then came advanced studies at Salem State College in Massachusetts. She later earned her master's degree in special education and psychology from the University of Maine, Orono. She was certified in both Maine and Massachusetts as school psychologist, special education teacher and reading consultant. Her elementary school teaching of more than 20 years took her to Old Town, Hamlin, Grand Isle and Van Buren. Sister was instrumental in opening the "Common Learning Center" in Sacred Heart Junior High School, Van Buren, under the Title I Program Teaching Exceptional Children. After three years, she devoted her time and expertise in teaching English as a second language, and remedial reading to the children in St. Ann School, Lawrence, Mass. She also taught adult basic/civic education in the area for many years. In her spare time Sister became involved in selling the World Book Encyclopedia, advancing to becoming area manager, hiring and training other salespersons for more than 10 years. When sister retired from teaching, she was given charge of a group of Sisters at St. Joseph Convent until 2002. When fully retired, she continued to be involved in a local Charismatic prayer group, and served the community as Eucharistic minister, reader and receptionist.

Survivors are many nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours will be 7-9 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4, and 9-10:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. Joseph Convent, 409 Pool St., Biddeford. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, at St. Joseph Convent. Burial will be at St. Joseph Cemetery, Biddeford.

Published in BDN Maine on Feb. 4, 2013