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Sr. Mary Charlene Olear

JOHNSTON, Iowa — Sister Mary Charlene Olear, 92, died at Bishop Drumm Care Center, Johnston, Iowa, on November 6, 2017. Funeral services include a Prayer Service, Friday, November 10, Bishop Drumm Our Lady of Peace Chapel; Sunday, November 12, rosary, 4 p.m. and Prayer Service, 7 p.m. ; Mass of Christian Burial on Monday, November 13, 11 a.m., all at Humility of Mary Center, Davenport. Halligan McCabe DeVries Funeral Home, Davenport, is assisting her family with arrangements.

Esther Gertrude was born September 2, 1925, to Charles and Agnes Claffey Olear in Marshalltown, Iowa. She entered the Congregation of the Humility of Mary on September 8, 1943, and professed vows July 17, 1946.

Sister Mary Charlene received a BA in general education from Marycrest-St. Ambrose College, Davenport, and an MA and various certifications as a reading specialist from Clarke College, Dubuque, Iowa. The 46 years of her teaching ministry included time in Iowa at St. Alphonsus and John F. Kennedy, Davenport; Lourdes Memorial School, Bettendorf; and as principal and teacher at St. Mary School, Centerville, Iowa. She taught at other Catholic and public grade and high schools in Iowa, Arizona and Montana.

After retirement in 1992, Sister cared for ill relatives and became very involved in her home parish, St. Mary, Marshalltown. She assisted persons in hospitals and homes, conducted weekly Word and Worship services, and sang in the funeral choir. In 2004, when she “retired for the second time,” returning to Humility of Mary Center in Davenport, she wrote, “It was a genuine privilege to be of service to so many people in my own hometown for so many happy years.”

Sister Mary Charlene was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Robert; and sisters, Grace Croker, Edna Groover and Rita Daniels.

She is survived by her nieces, Linda Hill, Cindy (Gene) Prusha and Donna (William) Malloy; other extended family and sisters and associates of the Humility of Mary community.

Memorials may be made to the Congregation of the Humility of Mary.

Online condolences may be left at

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the life of: Sr. Mary Charlene Olear
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