Sister Elaine Mary Charters was a Sister of Mercy for 66years. Elaine attended the parish high school in Springfield, Ohio. Instead of joining the Sisters of Mercy immediately after high school, she earned her bachelor of arts at Our Lady of Cincinnati College and became a medical technician at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Ohio. She entered the Sisters of Mercy in 1956.
Soon after completing her novitiate, she traveled to Washington, DC, earning her Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in Biology. She then taught biology-related courses for 40 years at OLC and Xavier University. After a very successful career as a teacher, she retired and became archivist for the former Cincinnati Regional Community. In 2013, following a serious bout with cancer, she retired to McAuley Convent.
Elaine was a perfectionist in her ministry of education and her work in the archives. She brought order to the Archives and was able to do a lot of organizing to make things better for the archivists who followed her. She extended her striving for perfection to her appearance and her many hobbies. She was also the family archivist, and she and her cousin, Father Bill Dunn, worked for years to get every bit of family history they could find. She was close to her family.
Elaine enjoyed doing needlework—the family still has a set of Christmas stockings she made that they put out every year. She enjoyed coloring books. As time went on and her memory started failing, she was able to continue with them. She had sets of markers and colored pencils. She especially loved coloring flower patterns and special designs. Each of them was done perfectly.
One special gift Elaine had was her quick wit. She maintained that almost to the end of her life. Someone would make a comment, and Elaine would come back almost immediately with the perfect response. She really enjoyed nature. The windows in her room provided just the right sunlight, and she always had a line of beautiful plants. She was happy to provide an infirmary for the plants of others.
She always carried herself with a quiet dignity, and her beautiful smile was welcoming to everyone. She had a special devotion to Our Lady, which was so appropriate for a woman who was born on the feast of the Assumption.