Sister Ursula Harelson, Sister of St. Joseph for 71 years, passed away at St. Francis Hospital in Wichita, Kansas on Dec. 13 at the age of 88.

Sister Ursula was born in Baton Rouge, one of six children of the late Andrew Leo and Mary Zilma (Edmonston) Harelson. Baptized Anna Marjorie, Sister Ursula is survived by her sister, Rita Harelson Garon, and her brother, Andrew Leo “Boo” Harelson. She was preceded in death by her sister, Hazel Harelson Kleinpeter, and brothers William John and Eddie Harelson.

She is also survived by her sisters-in-law, Mrs. William J. (Erin) Harelson and Mrs. A. Leo (Katherine) Harelson, and a host of loving nieces and nephews.

Sister Ursula graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy in Baton Rouge in 1945. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in New Orleans that year and professed perpetual vows in 1950. She attended Loyola University in New Orleans and received a B.S. in Education in 1960 with minors in math and chemistry.

She attended Union College in New York on an NSF grant in 1968-70 and earned an M.S. in mathematics with a minor in chemistry from Union in 1973.

While she was teaching at St. Joseph’s Academy in Baton Rouge, Sister Ursula was chosen Outstanding Chemistry Teacher of the Region in 1990. She was chosen a Distinguished Alumna of her alma mater in 1994 and 2001.

In addition to SJA, Sister Ursula taught at St. Joseph School in Baton Rouge, Catholic School in Pointe Coupee and several schools in New Orleans. After retiring, she volunteered at SJA.

Sister Ursula began teaching primary grades at Our Lady of the Rosary School in New Orleans in 1947. She continued teaching at the elementary level at St. Joseph Parochial in Baton Rouge and at St. Rose in New Orleans. She moved to Mt. St. Mary Convent in Wichita in 2013.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Dec. 17 at the Wichita Center of the Congregation of St. Joseph. Burial was in Roselawn Cemetery in Baton Rouge.

Donations may be made to Dear Neighbor Ministries, 3700 E. Lincoln, Wichita, KS 67218.