Sister Mary Ethna Kapfer, CSJ, 102, died Oct. 5 at St. Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 83 years.

Sister Ethna, the former Dorothy Elizabeth Kapfer, was born in Ilion on April 11, 1918, daughter of the late Carl and Jessie Smith Kapfer. After graduating from Chadwicks Union Free High School, she entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in Troy on March 19, 1937 and professed final vows on Aug. 15, 1942. 

Sister Ethna received a bachelor’s degree in science from The College of Saint Rose and a master’s degree in general science from Syracuse University. For 73 years she served in schools in the Albany and Syracuse dioceses, 63 years as teacher and administrator and the last 10 years as a volunteer tutor. Fifty of those years in the field of education were spent in the Mohawk Valley: Six years at St. Mary’s School in Little Falls and 44 years at St. Francis de Sales School in Herkimer.

Sister Ethna is survived by her nieces and nephews and their families: Dr. Carleen Chartier, Kim Kapfer, Sister Mary Bernadette Kapfer, CSSF, Tom Kapfer, Kevin Carroll and John Carroll; many friends; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. In addition to her parents, Sister Ethna was predeceased by her sister, Marguerite (Vincent) Carroll; her brothers, Elmer (Teresa) and Vincent (Jane) Kapfer; and her nephew, Brian Carroll.
Due to the continued health concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no public visitation or funeral services for Sister Mary Ethna at this time. A Memorial Mass will be scheduled at a later date.