Sr. Bellew: administrator, missionary


ST. LOUIS — Sister Joan Bellew, 79, SSND, a former teacher, administrator and missionary, died Jan. 1 at DePaul Hospital in Bridgeton, Mo.
A native of Fort Madison, she entered the congregation of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1955. She professed first vows in 1957 and final vows in 1963.

Sr. Bellew

She earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1960 from the former Notre Dame College in St. Louis and a master’s in education in 1973 from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio.

Sr. Bellew began her teaching career at Redemptorist High School in New Orleans. This experience was followed by teaching and administrative positions at St. Anthony in Effingham, Ill.; St. Gerard Regional High School in San Antonio, Texas; Thomas K. Gorman High School in Tyler, Texas; Sacred Heart in Morrilton, Ark.; Notre Dame Secondary School in Sunyani, Ghana; and Notre Dame High School in Burlington. She also served as the coordinator of community development for St. Mary of the Pines in Chatawa, Miss.

After several years of volunteer service at Our Lady of the Lake in Osage Beach, Mo., she was missioned to Anna House in 2016.


A memorial Mass was celebrated Jan. 13 in the School Sisters of Notre Dame Theresa Center chapel in south St. Louis County. Burial was in the Sancta Maria in Ripa Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the School Sisters of Notre Dame, Mission Advancement, 320 E. Ripa Ave., Saint Louis, MO, 63125-2897, or online at

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