Mary Theresa Potter, 83, passed away on June 15, 2022, at her residence in Milford, Kansas. Cremation will take place. The family will have a private family service.
Mary Theresa Potter was born on February 11, 1939 to Mary Theresa Steffen and Harvey Daeon Steffen, in Brooklyn, New York. She was welcomed by her big brother Harvey, and later was joined by her little brother Eddie. Both brothers and future sisters-in-law, Pat and Angie, were adored and loved by Mary over her lifetime.
She enjoyed attending Saint Sylvester’s School in Brooklyn, where she made lifelong friends. At seventeen years of life, Mary joyfully entered the convent. She became a Daughter of Wisdom in Litchfield, Connecticut and gracefully accepted her new name, Sister Stephanie of Our Lady. She was a Sister in both the eyes of the Catholic Church as well as in the lives of the amazing women who remained her dearest friends and sisters well beyond their years in the convent. Some of her sisters survive her, others have passed on before her, and with astonishment we learned that two of her sisters passed on with her, on the very same day! The spirit of these women and the bond that they share has been a rock for Mary throughout her life. During her time as a Sister, Mary was educated as a school teacher. She studied in Dayton, Ohio and returned to her home where she was recognized as an amazing elementary school teacher. Her students thrived, for they knew that they were loved. She was a champion of the downtrodden, giving them a voice.
In 1970, Mary left the convent with a peaceful heart, but never left the Catholic church. She married Francis Kennedy in 1971 and began the next chapter of her life, “Mrs. Kennedy”. Mary will always be remembered as an extraordinary mother to Jeremy, Shannon and Meghan. She worked tirelessly as a school teacher to support her family after her husband suffered a devastating stroke at the age of 42. Mary was humble in her strength as a teacher and a mother. She was outrageously proud of her children and grandchildren. After 20 years of marriage, she and Francis separated.
Mary went on to experience an unexpected and unconventional chapter in her life, “Mrs. Potter”. Mary fell in love and married Dwight Lowell Potter in 1993. Mary and Dwight enjoyed many years of love and happiness where they resided in Las Vegas, Nevada and Milford, Kansas. Mary was given the opportunity to embrace Dwight’s six wonderful children and an even more wonderful opportunity to be a loving grandmother and great grandmother to their many babies! She was a champion of nursery rhymes, songs and poetry, and will forever be remembered for her greatest role as “The Grandma."
In her final months, Dwight cared tirelessly for Mary. She was loved immensely, a reflection of how she loved others, with her entire heart and soul. She found meaning in the smallest gifts, and joy in everyday life. In honor of Mary’s spirit, may we all take a moment each day to be in awe of the simple things in life. We love you, Mom! Vaya con Dios!
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