Sister Dorothy Mary Epple, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for 66 years, died Tuesday of a heart attack at Assisi House in Aston, Pa. She was 86.
Dorothy Mary Epple was born to Carl and Barbara M. Bender Epple and was raised on East Fayette Street in Baltimore.
She graduated from Mount de Sales Academy in 1945 and entered her order as Sister Anne Jerome the same year at age 18. She professed her first vows in 1948 at Our Lady of Angels Convent in Aston, Pa. In the 1960s, she changed her name back to Dorothy.
Sister Dorothy earned a bachelor's degree in secondary education in 1957 and a master's in biology in 1964 from Villanova University.
During her career, she worked mostly in elementary and secondary education, congregational ministry and parish ministry.
She was with the Diocese of Harrisburg for 30 years in York, Pa., and the Diocese of Trenton, N.J., for 17 years. She also served in the Archdiocese of Baltimore for six years.
She held numerous teaching posts in York and Trenton until returning to Baltimore in 1978, where she ministered in the archdiocese until 1983 as the director of student personnel at Catholic High School of Baltimore.
From 1981 to 1985, she was a member of the provincial council for the former St. Joseph Province for the Sisters of St. Francis, working with sisters in Maryland, Delaware, Washington and the South.
After leaving Baltimore, she held numerous posts in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
In 2000, she went for a year to work at what is now University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center.