Sr. Ping – teacher and student


JOHNSTON, Iowa — Sister Harriett (Mary St. Edward) Ping, CHM, 89, an educator, died July 22 at Bishop Drumm Care Center. She was born Dec. 24, 1932, in Fort Madison to Harry and Marguerite (Pranger) Ping. She entered the Congregation of the Humility of Mary in 1951 and professed vows in 1954.

Sr. Ping

Sister Ping earned an associate’s degree in elementary education from Ottumwa Heights College-Ottumwa, a BA in general science from Marycrest College-Davenport and an MST in biology and physics from the University of North Dakota-Grand Forks.

She began her career educating others while still a student herself. From 1954 to 1981, she taught science and math at eight schools. The Iowa schools were St. Alphonsus-Davenport; St. Mary-Ottumwa; Assumption High School-Davenport; St. Joseph-Dunlap; Gehlen High School-LeMars; Lenihan Catholic School-Marshalltown and Aquinas High School-Fort Madison. She also taught at St. Leo High School-Lewistown, Montana. From 1981 to 1997, Sister Ping served as a librarian for Marycrest College and Teikyo Marycrest University-Davenport. Afterwards, she served as a receptionist and bookkeeper for Martina Place-Johnston, until retirement in 2002.

During her retirement at Humility of Mary Center in Davenport, Sister Ping volunteered at Our Lady of the Prairie Retreat and Humility of Mary Housing, Inc. In 2016, her ministry of prayer and witness continued at Bishop Drumm.


In 1972, the Board of Trustees of Ottumwa Heights College honored Sister Ping for her years of service in Catholic education. They recognized her as “a commendable example for those who pick up and carry forward the torch of leadership.” In 1981, the National Catholic Education Association granted her the Presidential Award for Outstanding Service to Catholic Education. She also served on the Board of Trustees for Ottumwa Heights College and was a member of the National Association of Biology Teachers.

In addition to her achievements, she leaves behind a legacy of energy, laughter and love for Whitey’s Ice Cream and Notre Dame football. Sister enjoyed camping and mountains.

Services were held July 28 at Bishop Drumm Our Lady of Peace Chapel and July 29 at Humility of Mary Center. Mass of Christian Burial was July 30 in Magnificat Chapel, Humility of Mary Center. Burial followed in Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Davenport.

Memorials may be made to the Congregation of the Humility of Mary.

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