Sister Alfreda Malone, 96, an Ursuline Sister of Mount Saint Joseph, died Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, at Mount Saint Joseph, in her 71st year of religious life. She was a native of Raywick, Ky.
Sister Alfreda was a prayerful woman with an unceasing energy to serve wherever she was needed. She graduated from Brescia College, Owensboro, Ky., in 1965.
She was a teacher in Kentucky at St. Bartholomew School, Buechel (1952-55), then principal and teacher at Peonia Public School, Clarkson (1955-58), St. Thomas More School, Paducah (1958-64) and St. Pius X School, Owensboro (1964-65). She was registrar at Brescia College, Owensboro (1965-68 and 1978-90). She was secretary to the Leadership Council at Maple Mount (1968-76) and ministered in health care at the Mount (1977-78). She was a religious education secretary at St. Charles Borromeo School in Albuquerque, N.M. (1976-77). She was administrative assistant to J.C. Malone Associates in Louisville (1990-2004), then ministered to her family and others in the Hodgenville, Ky., area from 2004-2009. From 2010-18, she was assistant to the archivist at the Motherhouse.
Survivors include the members of her religious community; sisters Wanda D’Angelo, of Boston, Ky., and Aretha Reckley, Tarzana, Calif.; brothers Joseph Clellan Malone and John R. Malone, both of Louisville; nieces and nephews.
In compliance with health and safety standards, the wake service at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, and the funeral Mass at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, at Mount Saint Joseph are private. Glenn Funeral Home and Crematory, Owensboro, is handling arrangements.
Donations in memory of Sister Alfreda may be made to the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph, 8001 Cummings Road, Maple Mount, KY 42356.
Remembrance of Sister Mary Alfreda Malone
February 23, 2021
Sister Amelia Stenger, OSU, Congregational Leader
Sister Alfreda always looked for ways to help others. She said that her father was a hard- working farmer who told her something she never forgot: “I’d rather wear out than rust out.” She certainly lived out that saying. She certainly didn’t rust out. During her years at the Mount, she would peel apples for sisters, check on Sisters in the Villa to see if they needed anything, and push the sisters in wheelchairs. She did this while she was 94, 95 and 96 years old. She was very active until she fell a few months ago. She was always smiling and asking how she could help. She left us on February 13, 2021 early in the morning. She didn’t want to cause anyone any hardship and always said she prayed for us by name. She left quietly and we are sure she was smiling when she entered the arms of St. Angela and our Ursuline saints who welcomed her.
Catherine Crystal Malone was born April 18, 1924 on the Rolling Fork River in Raywick, Kentucky. She was the fourth child born to Alfred Malone and Mary Abigail Benningfield Malone. Her older siblings were Margaret Elma, William Harold, Mary Agnita and her younger siblings were Dorothy Virginia, Anna Geneva, Margaret Aretha, Judith Arlene, Joseph Clellan, Wanda Ruth and John Robert. Those still living are Aretha, Joseph, Wanda and John. John and to those of you here and those who are watching on live stream, we offer you and your families our sympathy and prayers. We pray with you who are here with us as we remember and celebrate the life of this remarkable woman.
Crystal was baptized on May 17, 1924 in St. Joseph Church in Raywick, KY. When she was six years old, she attended St. Joseph School where she spent eight years. Her last year there was very memorable because she won the Marion County Spelling Bee. She kept an article about this in her file. She was really proud of that and wrote it on several of her forms.
On May 19, 1936 she was confirmed at St. Joseph School by the Right Reverend John A. Floersh, Bishop of Louisville.
She spent four happy years at St. Charles High School which was a public school with Ursuline teachers and graduated in June 1942. The only days she missed during her high school years were two weeks recuperating from an appendectomy and one day when the bus failed to run due to snow. They had school even when it snowed in those days. She said her most memorable event during high school was being chosen by her classmates and teachers to receive the Honor Medal. She didn’t say what that meant but it was probably the highest honor given to a Senior. She was offered a scholarship to Mount Saint Joseph Junior College, but she decided to attend St. Helena’s Business College in Louisville, KY.
Sister Alfreda said she knew she wanted to be a sister in the fifth grade. Although there were no Catholic schools in Marion County, all her teachers were Ursuline Sisters. She was especially impressed with her high school teacher and principal, Sister Gonzaga Cotter.
In November of 1942, she started working for the Marion County Board of Education, in Lebanon, KY. She worked there for seven years. She said that she wanted to stay close to home to help with her younger siblings.
She received her call in a rather interesting way. “I was in a movie theater and I suddenly heard the Holy Spirit say, “It’s time,’” Sister Alfreda said. “The next morning, I told my pastor I was entering the convent and he said, ‘I knew all along you were.’” It was at that time that she decided to enter the community of the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph and arrived at the Mount on September 8, 1949.
The sisters entering with her were Sister Marie Goretti Browning, Sister Elaine Burke, Sister Marie Carol Cecil and Sister Amanda Rose Mahoney. We offer you our prayers and sympathy at the loss of your classmate. She entered the novitiate August 14, 1950 and took the name of Mary Alfreda after her mom and dad. She made temporary Profession on August 15, 1952 and made perpetual Profession on August 15, 1955.
Her first teaching assignment was at St. Bartholomew School in Louisville, KY where she taught from 1952 to 1955. She then moved to Clarkson, KY where she taught grade eight and was principal at Peonia Public School. Her third mission was at St. Thomas More School in Paducah, KY from 1958 to 1964. This is where she taught Fr. John Vaughan. She was very proud to have taught him and had saved letters from him in her files.
During the summers, she attended classes at Brescia College (now University) to receive her Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in history and a minor in general business. She graduated from Brescia in 1965. She continued her graduate work at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, KY and the University of New Mexico.
She taught 7th grade at St. Pius X school in Owensboro from 1964 to 1965 then served as Registrar at Brescia from 1965 to 1968.
In June 1968 she was elected as secretary of the Council to replace a sister who left the community. She served the remaining fours years of the six-year term of that sister. In 1972, the community changed to four-year terms, with a superior, assistant superior and three councilors. The secretary was no longer elected, but Sister Alfreda was appointed community secretary in 1972 and served the next four years.
In 1976 she became the seventh-grade teacher at Lebanon Junior High but after just a month she was asked to go to St. Charles School in Albuquerque, New Mexico as Religious Education Secretary. In March of 1977 she returned to the Mount to help in the infirmary after two of our Sisters were killed in a car accident. The people at Brescia were very happy when in 1978 she returned to Brescia as registrar and served in that capacity until June 1990 when she retired. Well, she really didn’t retire because she began working with her brother at J.C. Malone Associates and remained there until 2009 when she came to the Mount.
During her years here at the Mount, she worked in the archives. Sarah Patterson, the archivist at the time said, “Sister Alfreda is a wonderful part of the archives. She has worked on everything from yearbooks to community records to mission files to newspapers and magazines to sisters’ theses and awards…. She completes projects so quickly that I often have to think of projects in advance for her.”
Sister Marie Bosco and Sister Alfreda were classmates growing up in Marion County. Sister Alfreda said, “We were tomboys together at St. Joseph Elementary School. We played in the backyard and the boys always got to play in the front yard on the ball diamond. I asked why we never got to play on the ball diamond. Sister told me to get there first. We ate our lunch faster one day and we got the ball diamond.” Sister Marie Bosco said, “Alfreda could knock it over the school. I could just knock it over the outhouse.”
In Sister Alfreda’s file, there was a letter that Mother Immaculata wrote to her telling her when she should come to the Mount. Mother Immaculata said, ”You are eagerly awaiting the Big Day, I’m sure. These last hours at home may not be easy…Keep up your courage and your prayers. During this time your ‘Big Sisters’ are offering special prayers for you.”
Sister Alfreda, your parents, sisters, brother and many Ursulines were waiting for you in heaven when you ended your 96 years on this earth. We ask you to intercede for our Ursuline community as you celebrate your new life. We certainly know you “didn’t rust out.”