Maryknoll, NY: Sister Stephanie Marie Nakagawa died on October 17, 2016 in at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY after a short illness. She was 94 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 74 years.
Sister Stephanie Marie was born on September 23, 1922 in Seattle, WA to parents Magdalen and Stephen Nakagawa. She was baptized as Helen Marie Yasuyo. She had one brother named Francis and one sister named Margaret. Her parents and brother have predeceased her.
In 1940, she graduated from Immaculate High School in Seattle, WA. She then joined the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation, on December 8, 1941 from Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish in Seattle, administered by the Maryknoll Fathers at that time. At her reception she received the religious name, Sister Stephanie Marie. She made her First Profession of Vows on June 30, 1944 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY and her Final Vows on June 30, 1947, also at the Maryknoll Sisters Center.
From 1943 to 1947 while staying at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, she earned a Bachelor of Education degree at the Maryknoll Teachers College. After graduation that same year, she was assigned to Hawaii. From there she was sent to Wailuku on the island of Maui where she taught for ten years at St. Anthony Grade School.
In 1961, Sister Stephanie Marie was assigned to Kyoto, Japan where she supervised a hostel for college students. In 1965, she moved to Yokkaichi, Japan, where she spent the next 31 years teaching English to juniors and seniors at the Maryknoll Girls School. She also gave private English lessons in the local community and in parish English programs.
During those years, she also took many courses in speech, special education, and teaching English as a second language at the University of Hawaii, Kyoto University Graduate School, and Georgetown University Graduate School. In 1976, she earned a Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Hawaii.
In 1996, Sister Stephanie Marie returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY where she gave service to elderly Maryknoll Sisters. In1998, she returned to Japan, to teach English at Yokkaichi Junior High and informal English classes at the Maryknoll Convent in Matsugasaki, Kyoto.
In 2002 Sister Stephanie Marie returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY where she again gave service to elderly Maryknoll Sisters.
Sister Stephanie Marie died on October 17, 2016 and generously donated her body to science.
A Vespers Service will be held on Thursday, October 27th in the Main Chapel at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Friday, October 28th at 11:00 A.M., also in the Main Chapel at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY.