Sister Ruth Chausse, 81


Sister Ruth (Mary Fourier) Chausse, 81,  of Nokomis, died in the early afternoon of Wednesday, June 26, 2024, after being placed in hospice in March.

Sister Chausse was born to Mildred (Boehler) and Donald Chausse at St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield on Sept. 17, 1942.  She was the fourth of seven children. The family of two boys and five girls assisted their parents at the family farm in Nokomis. The relationship with the Earth had been a constant in her life and that of her family. She was baptized at St. Louis Church in Nokomis.

She attended St. Louis Grade School staffed by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. In the seventh grade, she began to think of becoming a sister. Following a visit from Mother Theodosia Bettels, provincial of the former St. Louis Province, she applied to enter the Aspiranture at Sancta Maria in Ripa for her high school education.

Sister Chausse entered the candidature at Sancta Maria in Ripa on Aug. 25, 1960. She was received into the novitiate on July 29, 1961, and given the name Mary Fourier. She professed first vows on July 30, 1962, and final vows on July 30, 1967. Later, she returned to her baptismal name.

She received a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from the former Notre Dame College in St. Louis, MO, in 1964 and a master’s degree in elementary education from the State College of Arkansas, which is now known as the University of Central Arkansas, in Conway, AR, in 1972.

Sister Chausse taught elementary children for 18 years at a variety of schools, including Our Lady, Queen of Peace in House Springs, MO, St. Liborius in St. Louis, MO, St. Francis Borgia in Washington, MO, St. Joseph in East St. Louis, St. Joseph in Farmington, MO, St. James in Millstadt. She also served as a principal for 32 years at St. Joseph in East St. Louis, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in St. Louis, MO, St. Joseph in Farmington, MO, St. Peter Cathedral in Belleville, St. Theresa of Avila in Salem and St. Louis in Nokomis.

She spent her last 10 years in Catholic education as the principal at her elementary school in Nokomis while caring for her mother until her death. Her gift of leadership and willing service was an example to family members and the Nokomis community.

In 2012, Sister Chausse returned to St. Louis and volunteered at Maria Center on the Sancta Maria in Ripa campus. She also began a ministry to the elderly with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet Ministries in St. Louis, MO. She served as a caregiver with Assistance Home Care in St. Charles, MO, for two years and various places in the St. Louis area for one year. For three years she worked with Good Samaritan Senior Care in St. Louis, MO.

She did volunteer services at Theresa Center for two years before moving to Veronica House, The Sarah Community in Bridgeton, MO, in 2019. In May of 2020, she was missioned to Mother of Perpetual Help Residence. As her health declined, she was transferred to Mary Queen and Mother in St. Louis, MO, in December of 2023.

Sister Chausse lived her childhood dream “to work with children and see them grow and develop, both academically and spiritually.”