Sylvia Pauline (Matejovsky) Lapke was born January 18, 1929, the only daughter of Avis C. (Miller) and Frank J. Matejovsky in Williston, North Dakota. She was raised on the family farm northeast of Wolf Point. She attended Divide School through 6th grade, and agraduated from Wolf Point High School in 1946. She enrolled at Saint Mary College in Leavenworth Kansas and entered the Sisters of Charity in August 1948, receiving the name Sister Mary Charlene which honored her brother, Charles. She taught in several states, including Missouri, Kansas, Colorado and California. She took classes in the summers and earned a Master of Education degree in 1963. From 1969 to 1972, Sister Mary Charlene was a teacher, and then principal at Immaculate Conception Grade School in Wolf Point, Montana. There she met Father Raymond Lapke, a Priest at Poplar, Montana.
In 1973, both Sylvia and Raymond were released from their vows. They married in December of that year and settled near Denver where Sylvia continued to teach. In 1992, two years after the death of her brother Charles, Sylvia and Ray returned to live on the family farm that she dearly loved. She continued her teaching career at Southside School in Wolf Point, retiring in 2000 after teaching for 49 years.
Sylvia loved and cared for all animals. One of her fondest memories was when, as a 6-year old, her parents gave her a Shetland pony she named Buster. In later years she adopted her dog companions Tyke and then Indy from rescue organizations, and took in a big yellow tom cat she named Tramp. She cared for many stray farm cats and fed pheasants and other birds on the farm.
Sylvia was preceded in death by her infant brother George, her nephew Alan Matejovsky, her parents, brothers Donald and Charles, and her husband Ray. She is survived by her brother James Richard (Dick) Matejovsky and his wife Julane of Polson, Montana, sisters-in-law Elyse (Charles) Matejovsky of Hope, Idaho and Dorothy (Donald) and her husband Sam Ray of Brawley, California, and 16 nieces and nephews.
Donations in her memory may be made to Immaculate Conception Parish in Wolf Point or the Wolf Point 100 Club.
A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 8th, 2019 at the Emaculate Conception Church in Wolf Point, Montana. Interment will follow at Greenwood Cemetery.