Sister Esther O’Hara, 1929-2018
|Born December 14, 1929 in Covington, Kentucky
Entered St. Walburg Monastery September 7, 1947
Received habit June 29, 1948
First Profession June 30, 1949
Died January 31, 2018
Sister Esther O’Hara was born on December 14, 1929 to William and Marie Wischer O’Hara and named Laverne. She was one of seven children, having two sisters and four brothers. One sister died as an infant.
After graduation from St. Henry High School Laverne entered St. Walburg Monastery in 1947. She became a novice in 1948 and received the name Sister Esther. First profession followed in 1949 and perpetual profession in 1952. Sister Esther celebrated her silver jubilee in 1974, her golden in 1999, and her diamond in 2009.
Sister Esther graduated from Villa Madonna College in 1957 with a BA in Elementary Education. In 1965 she earned a certificate in Library Science, also from VMC.
Over many years of service Sister Esther worked in a variety of fields. She taught children with cerebral palsy and served in a number of diocesan elementary schools. One year she was organist at Mary Queen of Heaven, although she said later, “All I knew how to play was O Salutaris.”
Following her teaching years came nearly a decade as a school librarian on both sides of the river. Next Sr. Esther spent several years transporting sisters to doctors, and even doing routine car maintenance. The children at Villa Hills Day Care got to know her during the three years she spent there. Other children knew her as a Zoo volunteer.
What may have been Sr. Esther’s favorite pursuit was the field of storytelling and ventriloquism. A member of the Greater Cincinnati Storytelling Guild for 12 years, she was sought after for events for children. She had quite a family of puppets, and would show off photos of them the way others share pictures of grandchildren. A skilled balloon sculptor, there seemed to be no animal she couldn’t fashion.
Sr. Esther died peacefully on January 31, 2018. She is survived by two brothers and many nieces and nephews. Vigil service was held the evening of Tuesday, February 6 and the Mass of Christian Burial on Wednesday, February 7 at 5:00 pm. She was interred in St. Walburg Monastery Cemetery.