Birth: August 17, 1919
Final Profession: July 30, 1951
Death: December 17, 2015
Religious of the Sacred Heart Margaret Erhart, died Thursday, December 17, 2015, at Oakwood retirement center, the Society of the Sacred Heart’s elder care center in Atherton, California. Her life will be celebrated with a funeral Mass on Saturday, January 9, 2016, at the Oakwood Retirement Community chapel with burial in the community’s cemetery.
Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, on August 17, 1919, she was the daughter of Francis James Erhart and Delphine Shader Erhart. Sister Erhart graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1941 earning a bachelor’s degree in architecture. She earned a master’s in education from Saint Louis University in 1959.
Sister Erhart first worked in her father’s architecture office in Little Rock for one year. At the age of 23, she entered the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1943, taking first vows in 1945. She made her final profession on July 30, 1951. While in the novitiate, her architecture experience was utilized working on special projects, one being the construction of a professional model of Society properties in Paris.
Sister Erhart’s ministry spanned over forty years with the majority of her work in St. Louis, Missouri, teaching at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles, Missouri, where she taught fourth grade art classes, at Villa Duchesne in St Louis as first grade teacher, and the old Academy of the Sacred Heart (City House), where she taught first grade and algebra. She spent the next fifteen years at Villa Duchesne teaching grades K-8 and also helped design and followed the construction of the kindergarten and Oak Hill School. From 1968-75 she taught psychology, education and architecture at Maryville College, where she also served as director of the Early Learning Center. In 1975, Sister Erhart returned to Villa Duchesne and for the next ten years she taught math enrichment, religion and administered testing. She then moved to the town of Abiquiu, New Mexico, in 1985 where she served as a “parish Sister” at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish. Following this work, she taught underprivileged children at Hope Rural School in Indiantown, Florida.
After a long and faithful ministerial career, Sister Erhart moved to Atherton, California, and spent the next ten years as weaver, photographer and assisted the national archivist. In 2004, as her health declined, Sister Erhart moved to the Oakwood retirement center.
Predeceased by her parents and two sisters, Sister Erhart is survived by her sister, Mrs. John Rogers, Jr. of Little Rock, her nieces, nephews and her sisters in the Society of the Sacred Heart.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Society of the Sacred Heart, 4120 Forest Park Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63108.