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Sister Margaret Mary Schaefer, a member of the Williamsville Franciscans for 43 years, died Tuesday (Sept. 25, 2001) in St. Mary of the Angels Health Center, Williamsville, after a long illness. She was 60.

An educator for much of her religious life, Sister Schaefer had taught primary grades in several Catholic schools in the Buffalo diocese, including St. Bartholomew's and St. James, both in Buffalo; St. Christopher's, Town of Tonawanda; St. Mary's, East Eden; St. John's, West Valley; and Fourteen Holy Helpers, Gardenville.

She also taught in St. Anthony's School, Greenville, S.C.

As a teacher, Sister Schaefer, who was formerly known as Sister Rose Elizabeth, specialized in preparing young children to receive the sacraments of reconciliation and Holy Communion.

Because of her attraction to the contemplative life, she spent five years at the Monastery of St. Clare, Evansville, Ind. Returning to the Buffalo area in 1994, she served for five years as publicity secretary and receptionist at the St. Columban Center, Derby.

After she was forced to retire because of failing health, Sister Schaefer moved to St. Mary of the Angels Motherhouse, Williamsville, where she engaged in prayer ministry, made crafts and set up the library in the new motherhouse.

Born in Buffalo, Sister Schaefer received her early education at St. James School, Buffalo, and St. Aloysius School, Cheektowaga. She was a graduate of the former Bishop McMahon High School.

She entered the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Third Order Regular, Williamsville, in 1958 and took her final vows in 1964.

Sister Schaefer had a bachelor of science degree in education from the former St. Joseph's Teachers College, now Medaille College, and a master's degree in library science from the University at Buffalo.

She is survived by two brothers, Ronald Schaefer of Jordan, Utah, and Roger Schaefer of Ada, Mich.; and two sisters, Norma Dollard of Cassadaga and Dolores Setter of Depew.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Friday in the Chapel of St. Mary of the Angels Motherhouse, 201 Reist St., Williamsville. Burial will be in Gethsemane Cemetery on the Motherhouse grounds.

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