She was born in Glenwood, MO on October 19, 1922 to Grace and Herman Roberts. She had two brothers, G. Sam and R. Waldo and one sister, Carol. Her parents and brothers have predeceased her. In 1940, Jean graduated from Lancaster High School, in Lancaster, MO. After graduating from high school, she attended N.E. Missouri State Teachers College from 1940-1941. In 1941, she transferred to St. Louis University where she studied nursing and earned three degrees: B.S., R.N. and a Masters in Nursing Education. From 1945-1947, she was in the Army Nurse Corps and worked as a pediatric nurse at a children’s hospital for two years before entering the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate at Valley Park, MO on October 14, 1949. At her reception of the habit, she received the religious name Sister M. David Anthony. She made her First Profession of Vows on May 8, 1952 at Valley Park and her Final Vows on May 8, 1958 in Kansas City, MO.
Sr. Jean was assigned to Queen of the World Hospital, Kansas City, MO in 1955 as Hospital Supervisor. Six months later she became Director of the Practical Nursing School until 1962. Her first overseas assignment came in 1965 to the Mexico/Guatemala Region in Middle America. After a year of language study, she engaged in nursing education work in Jacaltenango, Guatemala from 1966 –1972 and was director and teacher of practical nursing from 1973-1975. In 1976, she was assigned as Director of the Maryknoll Sisters Health Services in Maryknoll, NY. From 1979-1980, Sr. Jean did pastoral work in the missions of Nicaragua before returning to Guatemala to continue hospital administration and health education. From 1997-1998, she was asked to work on the Maryknoll Sisters Guatemala History Project.
Sr. Jean returned to the Rogers Community at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY in 1999 where she did volunteer work and continued to work on the Guatemala history project. Due to delicate health she retired in 2006. She died peacefully on the morning of January 16, 2017.
A Vespers service will be held for Sister Jean on Thursday, January 19, 2017 at 4:15 p.m. in the Main Chapel at Maryknoll Sisters Center. A funeral Mass will follow on Friday, January 20, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. also in the Main Chapel at the Center. Interment will follow in the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery on the Center grounds.