Sister Edmund (Anatolle) Jalbert was born on December 1, 1901. Losing her parents in childhood, she became a boarder at a school taught by the Sisters of Jesus and Mary. Her happy marriage of ten years was ended by the sudden death of her husband, Walter F. O’Keefe, D.D.S. With customary courage, she reared their two sons, John and Bob. To them and to their families she was always extremely close. Giving generously of her time, she assisted Dom Edmund Futterer in the establishment of Saint Joseph’s Abbey. Monks going to and from the building site were assured of hospitality—and a freshly baked pie—at her home.
Joyfully setting out on a new vocational road, she entered Mount Saint Mary's Abbey at Wrentham. She made Solemn Profession on December 8, 1959 and served as Sacristan for over 30 years and made multitudes of friends as portress. Her love for her monastic family was as deep as her love for her natural family—a love once more tried by the death of her son, John. We cherish as her greatest legacy the example of unquestioning faith with which she embraced the infirmities of age.
Her monastic room and its adjoining corridor became for us, in her last days, a place of prayerful vigil. From here God took her on October 3, 1990. Her face was indescribably beautiful in death; the Bridegroom had come and found her faithful.
In his funeral homily, Dom Augustine of Spencer praised Sister Edmund as an image of the universal call to holiness; she responded to baptismal grace as a single woman, wife, mother, widow, single parent, and nun.