Sr. Mary
Sister Mary Esther McCann , CSJ December 23, 1909 ~ April 8, 2011 Sister Mary Esther McCann died on April 8, 2011 at the age of 101. She was a Sister of St Joseph of Carondelet for 81 years having entered the Community in March, 1930. Sister Mary Esther was born in San Francisco, the city that she loved. Throughout her life, San Francisco always had a special place in her heart. Sister graduated from Star of the Sea Academy in San Francisco and maintained relationships with her classmates for over 70 years. The majority of her apostolic years were in healthcare ministry. In 1935, Sister was sent to St. Mary’s Hospital in Tucson where she studied to become a lab technician. She finished her education in Laboratory Science at St Joseph Hospital in Kansas City and returned to Tucson where she supervised the lab for 14 years. For the next 35 years, Sister Esther served in a leadership position at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Pasco, Washington; St Joseph’s Hospital in Lewiston, Idaho and St Mary’s Hospital in Tucson, Arizona. From 1964 until the mid 90’s, Sister Esther held positions of leadership and influence at Daniel Freeman Hospitals. She served as Assistant Administrator, Administrator, Chief Executive Officer, and President, as well as President of the Freeman Foundation. Sister was well known to the community of Inglewood, she attended many Chamber of Commerce meetings and was honored multiple times for her accomplishments. Her name became synonymous with Daniel Freeman Hospital. Among Sister Mary Esther’s leadership gifts was her ability to work positively and effectively with all kinds of people. During the seventies Sister Esther initiated a special program, Alternative to Abortion, a program in which pregnant women who were contemplating abortion could receive both financial and compassionate assistance. Sister Esther was a simple, joyful, prayerful Sister of St. Joseph. In December of 2010, Esther celebrated her hundredth birthday, with an afternoon tea at Carondelet Center. When the crowd sang “Happy Birthday,” Esther waved her hand and sang out “There will be more!” Sister will be missed by her sisters in community, her multitude of friends made over a life time of giving, and by her family. Preceding her in death are her siblings, Thomas McCann, Joseph MCann, Esther McCann, Frank McCann, Dolores Buick, Clare G Talcott, Bernard McCann, and Eleanor Conger. She is survived by nephews and nieces Lorna Barry, John Buick, Maureen Murphy, Jeanne Boswell, Don McCann, Phillip Conger, John McCann, Father Peter Talcott, Dr James Talcott, Sarah Randt, and Suzanne Anderson. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Carondelet Center in Los Angeles on Monday, April 18. Call Carondelet Center for specific information (310.889.2100). Burial will be at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City on Tuesday, April 19 at 10:00AM. Donations may be made in her memory to the Sisters of St Joseph of Carondelet, 11999 Chalon Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90049

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  1. My mother, Eileen Riordan Drabinski, knew Sr. Esther and was probably taught by her at St. Mary’s. I grew up visiting Sr. Esther at Daniel Freeman and always felt a warm and joyful welcome from a lovely woman, this sister to all. She signed a book of mine with the words, “Gather ye sunshine wherever you go, then love and joy and peace you’ll know. A happy heart for yourself you’ll find, by being loving, true and kind.” Five decades later, I can remember these words by heart. She was an impressive, lovely and loving woman.

  2. I shall never forget this beautiful woman, so kind, Spiritual & warm. In my 20+ years volunteering at Daniel Freeman Hospital with the Auxiliary, she was such a great help and inspiration to me. She became a Family friend, and we all loved her. She for sure, has earned her place in Heaven. How I will miss her and her loving cheerful ways. Frances Morgan (Mrs. Robert)

  3. I shall rememberSister Esther just as her picture depicts her with a smile on her face! She made me feel welcome whenever I visited her. May she rest in peace. Lovingly, Annette Czuleger O’Neill

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