How two sisters and a brother became two Sisters and a Brother
Seated are Edna Munsey Godfrey and husband Stephen W.J. Godfrey. Standing are Jane Elizabeth Godfrey, Robert James Godfrey and Ruth Mary Godfrey.
When my husband was born he was given a middle name of Godfrey. A strong family name from his Irish immigrant great grandfather David Godfrey.
Stephen Godfrey, pictured above, was the oldest child of David Godfrey and David’s second wife Elizabeth Ellen McNamee who were married in 1879 in St. Louis just after the death of David’s first wife Honora. David and Honora had immigrated from Ireland in 1872 with baby Patrick born in 1871. Two children were born in St. Louis after their arrival, Mary Margaret born in 1873 and John Aliyious born in 1875. David and Elizabeth’s marriage added Stephen born in 1881, Bridget born in 1884, John Thomas born in 1888 and Frances Theresa born in 1890 (John’s grandmother) and Joseph Leo born in 1892. Elizabeth Godfrey became ill and died in February 1893 and baby Joseph Leo died in March 1893 at 4 months old.
It fell to daughter Bridget to help her father raise the younger children. David Godfrey died in 1909 and Stephen became the head of household. All the Godfrey children had grown to young adults, maintained a deep Catholic faith and strong work ethic.
By 1911 Stephen married Edna Munsey and they started their own family with the birth of David in 1912, Ruth Mary in 1915, Robert James in 1918 and Jane Elizabeth in 1921. Stephen owned and worked in a clothing factory in St. Louis to support his children’s educational and religious training. He was also a partner in Manchester Hardware Company as Secretary/Treasurer with his older half brother Patrick Godfrey as President.
Left, Ruth Mary Godfrey; right, Jane Elizabeth Godfrey, the two sisters who became Sisters of Loretto.
Left, Sister Ellen Mary Godfrey S.L. Right is Sister Jane de Chantal Godfrey S.L.
Sister Jane was the first to enter Sisters of Loretto in 1941 and professed her vows in 1946. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from Loretto Heights College in Denver, a master’s degree at University of Notre Dame and her Doctorate at University of Southern California. She taught for 40 years. She was the Education Department chair at Loretto Heights for 7 years and at Berea College for 12 Years.
Sister Jane Godfrey
Sister Ellen Mary Godfrey graduated in mathematics from Webster College in St. Louis and received her masters degree from Catholic University. She pronounced her vows in 1944. She also taught at Holy Family in Denver, St. Mary’s in Colorado Springs and schools in New Mexico and Illinois. After her teaching years she became known as a catalyst of the Lorretto Investment Committee and a pioneer in the investment community.
Sister Ellen Mary
And then there was Brother Bob. Robert Godfrey entered the order of the Society of Mary in 1936 and took his vows a year later . He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio and a master’s degree from Marquette University in Milwaukee.
Brother Godfrey taught math and science at the old Coyle High School in Kirkwood Missouri, and became principal. He was also principal at McBride High School in the 1950’s and 1960’s. He was assistant superintendent of schools for the archdiocese of St. Louis for 8 years before moving to San Antonio to become superintendent.
Brother Bob Godfrey S.M.
And there you have two sisters and a brother who grew up to be two Sisters and a Brother.