Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration (FSPA)

Modern Lives. Sacred Traditions.


Obituaries

In Memoriam

Sister Edna (Anthony Clare) Bube, FSPA

Sister Edna (Anthony Clare) Bube, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 88, died on Thursday, April 13, 2017 (her birthday), at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse, Wis.  She was in the sixty-eighth year of her religious profession.

Sister Edna was born in Athens, Wis. to Bodo and Margaret (Rosner) Bube on April 13, 1929.  She was baptized Edna Amalia.  She was the fifth oldest of ten children.  Her father farmed in Athens, Corinth and Wurtzberg, Wis.  The sisters in her elementary school had a great influence on her. 

She entered St. Rose Convent in 1943 after completing the eighth grade at St. Anthony School in Athens.  She made her first profession of vows on Aug. 12, 1949.

Sister Edna served as a homemaker the first three years of her religious profession before entering the education field.  She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education with a minor in art from Viterbo University. She taught in elementary schools in Guttenberg, Iowa (1952-54), Spokane, Wash. (St. Xavier and St. Anthony Schools, 1955-62), Mosinee, Wis. (1962-63) and Canton, Miss. (1963-71).  Sister Edna completed a nursing assistant program at Western Technical College and ministered as an aide at St. Francis Hospital (MCHS-FH) and Lutheran Hospital (Gundersen Medical Center) before moving into ministry for the elderly and homebound in Pueblo, Colo. (1973-1980), in Phoenix, Ariz. (1981-82) and in Santa Fe, N.M. (1982-1987). After attending the Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross Hospice Institute, she became a certified grief counselor which led her to a ministry at Berardinelli Mortuary, St. Vincent Hospital and Cancer Center and with several area doctors in Santa Fe from1988 to 2000.  At that time, she retired from full time active ministry and continued volunteering at St. Vincent Hospital and Cancer Center.  She also enjoyed tutoring at a woman’s shelter and walking dogs at a local animal shelter.  In March 27,  2017, after a severe automobile accident, Sister Edna moved to Villa St. Joseph.

Sister Edna is survived by her Franciscan community, her brothers: Bodo (Neenah, Wis.), Ronald (Wausau, Wis.) and Anthony (Orange, Calif.) and three sisters: Margaret (Peggy) Burgos (New York City), Ursula Kordus (Plattsmouth, Neb.) and Marie Seubert (Ephraim, Wis.).  She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Peter and her sisters Agnes Stark and Dorothy Creecy.

Friends and community members remember Sister Edna as an enthusiastic, compassionate person who loved life and all God’s creation—especially her best friend, Honey, a little brown dog.  Her passion for the disadvantaged and dying entered every aspect of her life.  Even though she lived far away from the Perpetual Adoration Chapel in La Crosse, she spent several hours a week at the Guadalupe Adoration Chapel or Benedictine Monastery in New Mexico.

Friends may call after 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19 at St. Rose Convent, La Crosse.  A prayer service will be held at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel that evening.  The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 20 in the chapel.  Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery,La Crosse.

Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin, 54601-4782.

Jandt Fredrickson Funeral Home is assisting with the arrangements.

 

Sister Marie Leon LaCroix, FSPA

Sister Marie Leon LaCroix, FSPA, 98 (one day short of her 99 th birthday), died Monday, March 20, 2017 at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse. She was in the seventy-eighth year of her religious profession.

Sister Marie Leon was born to Ernest and Mary (St. George) LaCroix on March 21, 1918, in Spokane, Washington. She entered St. Rose Convent in 1936. Having earned a degree in education from Viterbo College (University), Sister Marie Leon taught on the elementary level for five years in Wisconsin before earning a degree in home economics from UW-Stout and teaching for 11 years on the high school level at Carroll and Muscatine, Iowa, Spokane and Superior, Ashland and La Crosse (Aquinas High School), Wisconsin. She continued her education in theatre at St. Louis University, Missouri, the University of Iowa, Iowa City and Seattle University. In 1955, Sister Marie Leon started the theatre department at Viterbo College and was director, costume designer and maker, and associate professor until her retirement in 1994. Sister Marie Leon played a very prominent role in the design of Viterbo University’s Fine Arts Center. After retirement, she continued to volunteer at Viterbo, especially in making costumes. Sister Marie Leon made St. Rose her home in 2002 and moved to Villa St. Joseph in 2012.

Community members, family and friends remember Sister Marie Leon as a loyal FSPA, a woman of prayer, and an excellent theatre teacher. She had determination and spunk, a creative imagination and was a stickler for details. All of these qualities helped her to accomplish the task of beginning the theatre arts department in Viterbo College (University). Sister Marie Leon  loved teaching and was reluctant to come back to La Crosse. She confessed, “You give me a job, I’ll rant and rave, but once I say ‘Amen,’ that’s it. You give me people to work with, and that’s all I need.” (This included reaching into the community for men who would fill male acting roles, since Viterbo at that time was an all-women’s college.) She started with a sewing machine and the old gym at Viterbo. She was director, costume sewer and set designer. And when she had accomplished what she had been given to do, she retired to have time to spend with her God, to read and to contemplate. Sister Marie Leon was a true show-woman. She loved entertaining visits—with a focus on “entertaining.”

Sister Marie Leon is survived by her Franciscan community, her sister Kathleen Schneider, Spokane, and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister Mildred Kopet.

Friends may call after 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22 at St. Rose Convent, La Crosse. A prayer service will be held at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel that evening. The Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m., Thursday, March 23, will be in the chapel. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, La Crosse.

Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, WI 54601-4782 or the Sister Marie Leon La Croix Scholarship Fund at Viterbo University, 800 Viterbo Dr., La Crosse, WI 54601.

Dickinson Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.

 

Sister Mae (Ann Clare) Kaiser, FSPA
Watch Sister Mae's funeral Mass

Sister Mae Kaiser, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 89, died on Monday, January 23, 2017,
at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse, Wisconsin. She was in the 67th year of her religious profession.

Sister Mae was born on June 19, 1927, to Matthias and Thecla (Wagner) Kaiser in Stratford, Wisconsin. At her baptism she was given the name Mary Frances. Because of all of the “Marys” in the relationship, she was called Mae. Her years of childhood were much the same as all girls—getting into, perhaps, more than her share of mischief when tagging after her two older brothers. She attended St. Joseph’s School, Stratford, which was staffed by the FSPA. The years following her eighth grade graduation were spent at home helping with the work entailed in caring for a family of five brothers and five sisters. Often an SOS for help came from families in the vicinity and then Mae lent a helping hand. This work consisted in playing nurse-maid and being assistant or chief cook. At the age of 20, Mae heard the Lord’s knock at the door of her heart and she followed her two younger sisters, Alice and Joann, to St. Rose Convent in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Mary was received into the novitiate on August 12, 1948, and was given the name Sister Ann Clare. (She later returned to the name her family had always called her, Mae.)  She made profession of vows on August 12, 1950 and final profession on August 9, 1956.

Sister Mae ministered to her sisters in the FSPA community for 20 years as a homemaker in convent homes in La Crosse; Dodgeville and Superior, Wisconsin; and Lansing, Iowa. She served two years (1960-1962) as a housekeeper at Viterbo College (University) and four years (1962-1966) at St. Angela Academy in Carroll, Iowa. Sister Mae was employed in Dietary Services at hospitals in Idaho Falls and Arco, Idaho (1957-1960) and St. Francis Medical Center (MCHS-FH), La Crosse (1971-1979).  In 1979, she was appointed Director of Housekeeping at St. Rose Convent; a position she held until she retired in 1998.  Sister Mae moved to Villa St. Joseph in 2014.

Community members, family and colleagues remember Sister Mae as an accomplished seamstress, a good cook, a creative craftswoman and an efficient cleaner and organizer. In her retirement she sewed innumerable sets of drapes for the bedrooms at St. Rose Convent. Sister Mae always had a twinkle in her eye—as though she was looking for the next opportunity to get into mischief. She was kind and gentle and interested in her sisters and her work companions.

Sister Mae is survived by her Franciscan community; two sisters: Mildred (Anthony) Eilers of Marshfield, Wis.; and Carol (Gary) Watson of Corvallis, Ore. and three brothers: Mark (Agnes) of Stratford; Edward (Delphine) of Appleton, Wis.; and Paul (Joan) Kaiser, of Great Falls, Mont. and nieces and nephews. Sister Catherine Kaiser, FSPA, and Sister Margaret Wagner, FSPA, are among her surviving cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sisters, Sister Joann Kaiser, FSPA, Sister Alice Kaiser, FSPA and Monica Baierl and her brothers, Father Leonard Kaiser and Joseph.

Friends may call after 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday, January 25, at St. Rose Convent.  A prayer service will be held that evening at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel.  The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, January 26, at 10 a.m. in the chapel.  Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, La Crosse.

Schumacher-Kish Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.

Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601-4782 or by using the​ online donation form.

Sister Rita Rathburn, FSPA
​Watch Sister Rita's funeral ceremony

Sister Rita Rathburn, FSPASister Rita Rathburn, FSPA, 90, died Monday, Sept. 12, 2016, at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse, Wisconsin. She was in the 70th year of her religious profession.

Born on Oct. 19, 1925, Sister Rita was the fourth of eight children of John and Helen (Merwin) Rathburn, La Crosse. At her baptism she was given the name Rita Mary. Rita attended St. James School and Aquinas High School in La Crosse. Religious training and practice were a priority in the home. At confirmation she began to discern “a call to a higher life.” She entered St. Rose Convent on Aug. 29, 1943.

Rita was received into the novitiate on Aug. 12, 1944, and was given the name Sister Mary Paul. Later she returned to her baptismal name. She made first profession of vows on Aug. 12, 1946, and final profession on Aug. 9, 1952.

Having earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Viterbo College (University) in Latin with minors in English and history and a Master of Arts degree from Catholic University in English, Sister Rita ministered as an elementary teacher for six years in Milford, Iowa, and Greenwood, Wisconsin. She served as a  high school teacher for 15 years in schools in West Point, Iowa, Prairie du Chien and La Crosse, Wisconsin, including 11 years at Aquinas High School. She was teaching assistant at Notre Dame during the 1976-1977 term. Sister Rita completed her teaching career with 27 years in the English Department at Viterbo College (University), including eight years as chairperson of the department. In the middle of her tenure at Viterbo, she served as Communications Director for the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration for four years. After retiring as associate professor, Sister Rita continued ministering at Viterbo as a volunteer, especially in the learning center and library. She retired to St. Rose Convent in 2005. In 2015, Sister Rita moved to Villa St. Joseph.

Community members, family and friends will remember Sister Rita as a fun-loving, engaging person. Her love for teaching earned her the Bishop John Paul Distinguished Alumnus Award, presented by the Greater La Crosse Area Catholic Schools. Students at Viterbo remember Sister Rita for her dedication to her subject and her care for each student. As one student put it, “She had an uncanny ability to motivate students.” While at Viterbo College (University), she founded the Humanities Symposium and the Women’s Studies Program. Her zest for life continued after her retirement. She was always interested in each person she met and could engage one in conversation on most any subject.

Sister Rita is survived by her Franciscan community, her brother Paul and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sisters: Dorothy, Joan and Mary; and her brothers John, Robert and Joseph.

Friends may call after 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14, at St. Rose Convent, La Crosse. A prayer service will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14, in Mary of the Angels Chapel. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15, in the chapel. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, La Crosse.

Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601-4782 or by using the online donation form.

Sister Dorothea Burr, FSPA

Sister Dorothea Burr, FSPASister Dorothea Burr, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 97, died Friday, Aug. 5, 2016 at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse. She was in her 74th year of religious profession.
 
Sister Dorothea was born on May 3, 1919, to Peter and Clara (Morarand) Burr on a farm near Rozellville, Wisconsin. She was the youngest of ten children. At her baptism she was named Mildred Julia. She attended St. Andrew School, Rozellville. Mildred and her sister Odelia were inseparable during those years. Where you saw one, you saw the other. Mildred would choose to stay home from an event or activity rather than go alone. Early on Mildred had a deep devotion to the Sacred Heart. One summer she won a picture of the Sacred Heart as a prize at the parish picnic. Every time she looked at the picture, the eyes of Jesus seemed to say, “Choose Me!” Her application to St. Rose was accepted on the feast of the Sacred Heart and Mildred took it as a confirmation of her vocation. She entered the convent on Aug. 15, 1936.
 
Mildred was received into the novitiate on Aug. 12, 1940, and was given the name Sister Dorothea. She made first profession of vows on Aug. 12, 1942, and final vows on Aug. 9, 1948.

Sister Dorothea began her career with 12 years of teaching on the elementary level in Wisconsin and Iowa. With a bachelor’s degree in home economics from Viterbo College (University) and a master’s degree in home economics from UW-Stout, she taught at the high school level; five years at Marycliff High School in Spokane Washington, seven years at Aquinas High School in La Crosse and four years at Cathedral High School in Superior, Wisconsin. She also taught home economics for two semesters at Viterbo College (University), as well. In 1971 when Cathedral High School closed, Sister Dorothea moved to inner city Milwaukee. From 1971-1989, she taught sewing at Harambee School and St. Elizabeth Youth Program, while also working at a government sponsored food program. When the staff was cut, she was hired part time by Zander Home Church Vestment Company. Wanting full time employment and benefits Sister Dorothea was hired as receptionist and bookkeeper by Milwaukee Catholic Retirement Home where she worked for 12 years. When she retired from there, she spent two years as assistant bookkeeper and receptionist at Second Harvesters Food Bank. Sister Dorothea volunteered at St. Mary’s Hospital and a shelter for battered women. Sister Dorothea then worked in the employment program at Interfaith Program for the Elderly, where after nine years of employment, she spent another seven as a volunteer assisting the poor.  

In 2006 Sister Dorothea retired to Villa St. Joseph as a volunteer. At Villa St. Joseph, she helped the sisters wherever needed and made quilts for hospitals and the gift shop. In 2012, with her health weakening, she formally retired, although she still could be seen throughout the Villa helping others.

Community members, family, and friends will remember Sister Dorothea as a real advocate for the needy. She loved her religious congregation and said “I am grateful to God for having called me to serve in this Franciscan eucharistic community, which is committed to the promotion of life-given Gospel values in every aspect of creation.” She was one who lived the Gospel as she used the gifts God gave her to assist others.  With a twinkle in her eye, she quietly moved from one ministry of service to another. She was an excellent seamstress. She gave her students and clients (and sisters) skills and care they still remember. 

Sister Dorothea is survived by her Franciscan community and nieces and nephews, including Virdean Meyer, FSPA, Marshfield, Wisconsin. Her parents, two brothers, Sylvester and Delbert, and seven sisters, Hildegard Rogstad, Florence Kroening, Viola Fischer, Olive Jorgensen, Irene Collins, Sylveria Draxler and Odelia Meyer preceded her in death.

Friends may call after 3:15 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016 at St. Rose Convent, La Crosse. A prayer service will be held that evening at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 10 in the chapel. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, La Crosse.

Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601-4782 or by using the online donation form.
 

Sister Cathryn Meyer, FSPA
 
Sister Cathryn Meyer, FSPASister Cathryn Meyer, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 98, died Sunday, July 10, 2016, at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse, Wisconsin. She was in her 78th year of religious profession.
 
The oldest of 13 children, Sister Cathryn was born to Peter and Catherine (Hein) Meyer on Aug. 19, 1917, in Stratford, Wisconsin. At her baptism she was given the name Florence Theresa. She and her parents lived with her Grandmother Meyer for several years. Florence became so attached to her grandmother that she refused to leave when her parents moved. She lived with her grandmother until 1929. Eventually, the family’s new home was built next to the town hall in Eau Pleine, Wisconsin, and Florence came to live there. Florence had “a deep and holy longing … to enter a convent, to join the ranks of my former teachers whom I loved and reverenced …”  She confided her secret to her teacher and then to her parents. The only opposition she felt was from her grandmother. 
 
Florence entered St. Rose Convent on Aug. 8, 1932, with two of her classmates, Sister Elvira and Sister Angelice. Upon entering the novitiate on Aug. 5, 1936, she was given the name Sister Cathryn. She made first profession of vows on Aug. 9, 1938 and final vows on Aug. 10, 1944.
 
From 1937 to 1990, Sister Cathryn served as teacher and/or principal in elementary schools in Iowa, Washington and Wisconsin, including 22 years at Blessed Sacrament School, La Crosse, and six years at Holy Trinity School, La Crosse. Following a sabbatical year after retiring from the field of education, Sister Cathryn ministered in pastoral care at St. Anthony Nursing Home, Carroll, Iowa, until she moved to St. Rose Convent in 2003. In 2012, Sister Cathryn moved to Villa St. Joseph. 

Her Franciscan community, relatives and friends remember Sister Cathryn a as kind and loving person who dedicated herself to her teachers and students when she was a school principal and to the patients in the nursing home when she was in pastoral care. She knew every child in the school and provided faculty and programs so each one could succeed. Family was very important to Sister Cathryn; she always looked forward to their visits. Sister Cathryn was an avid sports fan. She never missed a Brewers or a Packers game. One of her friends said, “She is now an ‘angel in the outfield.’” In her active years, Sister Cathryn could be found on the golf course—when she had time. After retiring, she kept her mind alert working cryptograms and crossword puzzles. 
 
Sister Cathryn is survived by her Franciscan Community; her brothers: Peter Meyer, Jr., Sayner, Wisconsin, and Melvin (Dolores) Meyer, Nekoosa, Wisconsin; her sisters: Gertrude Krueger and Patricia (Jerome) Folz, both from Wausau, Wisconsin, Mary (James) Szydel, Neshkoro, Wisconsin, Rita (Maynard) Erdmann, Wautoma, Wisconsin, and Ruth Schroepfer, Marshfield, Wisconsin, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Raymond, James, Walter and Albert and her sister Agnes.
 
Friends may call after 3:15 p.m., Wednesday, July 13, when her body will be brought to St. Rose Convent. A prayer service will take place at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 14, in Mary of the Angels Chapel. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, La Crosse. Schumacher-Kish Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.

Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601-4782 or by using the online donation form.

 

Sister Virginia McCarville, FSPA

Sister Virginia McCarville, FSPASister Virginia McCarville, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 100, died Friday, June 3, 2016, at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse, Wisconsin. She was in the 79th year of her religious profession.
 
Ruth McCarville was born to Joseph and Margaret (Flannery) McCarville on March 2, 1916, in Moorland, Iowa. She completed her high school education at Moorland Consolidated School in 1933. During these years, she was organist at her parish church. Answering a call to religious life, Ruth entered St. Rose Convent on Aug. 14, 1934.
 
Ruth received the habit on Aug. 6, 1935, and was given the name Sister Virginia. She made profession of first vows on Aug. 5, 1937, and final vows on Aug. 10, 1943.
 
Sister Virginia served in the ministry of education for most of her life. She taught elementary school for 30 years in Wisconsin, seven years in Iowa, and one year in Spokane, Washington. For three years, she taught special education at St. Michaels in La Crosse. In 1979, she went to Canton, Mississippi, to volunteer at Holy Child Jesus School; the following year she moved to Claxton, Georgia, to fill the role of activities director. She ministered in religious education, social work and played the organ at St. Peter’s Church in Beauford, South Carolina, for the next nine years.  From 1990 to 2002, Sister Virginia ministered as tutor, librarian and GED instructor in Fort Dodge, Iowa, where she served at Sacred Heart School and Iowa Central Community College. Moving to St. Rose Convent in 2002, Sister Virginia continued tutoring until she retired to Villa St. Joseph in 2011.
 
Community members, family and friends will remember Sister Virginia as a fun-loving, cheerful companion. She lived life to the fullest and was always up for another challenge. As a great story-teller, she could keep a group’s interest in any topic. She treasured her time with children and helping adults learn English. Sister Virginia loved her family and was loved dearly by them.  She attended every family reunion she could. While in Beauford, one of her outstanding memories was when she played the organ in the movie, “The Big Chill,” and interacted with several well-known movie stars.
 
Sister Virginia is survived by her Franciscan community and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, Eugene and Donald, and her sisters, Irene Cale, Virginia Bender and Sister Agnelia (Gertrude), FSPA.
 
Friends may call after 3:15 on June 7 when the body will be met at St. Rose Convent. A prayer  service will be held at 6:30 that evening in Mary of the Angels Chapel. Celebration of a Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Wednesday, June 8 at 10 a.m. in the chapel. Sister Virginia is being buried at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, La Crosse.
 
Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601-8800 or by using the online donation form
 
Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.

 

Sister Marian (Mary Lawrence) Wieland, FSPA

Sister Marian Wieland, FSPASister Marian (Mary Lawrence) Wieland, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 89, died on Sunday, May 22, 2016, at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse, Wisconsin. She was in the 69th year of her religious profession.

On Dec. 7, 1926, Marian Magdella was born at St. Anthony Hospital, Carroll, Iowa, the oldest of the six children of Lawrence and Mary (Kanne) Wieland. The family lived on a farm in Glidden until Marian was three years old and then moved to Carroll. Marian and her siblings attended St. Joseph School, Carroll. Sister Marian would laugh as she told the story of her brother Paul and her taking their wagon through the cornfield to help their father mend fences—only to get lost. Hours later, her father followed the wagon tracks and found them. Her sister Beatrice was born when Marian was about ten years old and Marian was like a second mother to her. When Marian was in seventh grade her teacher asked her about being a sister and after eighth grade Sister Agnesette helped Marian to get her parents’ consent. Marian entered St. Rose Convent on Aug. 28, 1943.

Marian was received into the novitiate on Aug. 12, 1945, and was given the name Sister Mary Lawrence. (She later returned to Marian.) She made first profession of vows on Aug. 12, 1947, and final vows on Aug. 9, 1953.

Sister Marian served as a homemaker for 11 years in convent homes in Iowa and Wisconsin. She worked in the bakery at Villa St. Joseph and as a dietician at the hospital in Arco, Idaho, each for two years. Sister Marian ministered at St. Joseph Home, La Crosse, for seven years before entering nurse aide training in Carroll, Iowa. From 1969 to 1997, she served as a nurse aide at St. Anthony Regional Hospital, Carroll. She retired in 1997 and continued to volunteer at St. Anthony’s until she moved to St. Rose Convent in 2008. In 2015, Sister Marian made Villa St. Joseph her home.


Community members, family and friends will remember Sister Marian as always having a smile and encouraging word of greeting to everyone. She loved her ministry at St. Anthony Regional Hospital with mothers and babies and continued to keep connections with many of her friends from there long after she left. She was often teased that everyone in Carroll knew her. During her time at St. Rose Convent, she cherished the opportunity to pray before the Blessed Sacrament. In between adoration hours, she would often be found working a jigsaw puzzle or embroidering for the St. Rose Gift Shop.  When she moved to Villa St. Joseph, Sister Marian tapped into her artistic side. 

Sister Marian is survived by her religious community, her brothers Donald (Evie) Wieland, Paul (Rainy) Wieland; her sisters Dolores Pudenz, and Beatrice (Richard) Pudenz, all of Carroll; and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister Maxine Schultes.

Friends may call after 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday, May 25, when her body will be brought to St. Rose Convent. A prayer service will be held that evening at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel.  Reverend Richard Tulko, OFM, will preside at the Mass of Christian Burial on Thursday, May 26, at 10 a.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel. Burial will be in her family plot in Mt. Olivette Cemetery, Carroll, Iowa.

Dickinson Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.

Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, WI 54601-4782 or by using the online donation form.

Sister Florence Marie (Mary David) Veit

Sister FLorence Marie VeitSister Florence Marie Veit, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 95, died Wednesday, May 11, 2016, at Villa St. Joseph. She was in the 72nd year of her religious profession. 

On March 24, 1921, Florence Marie was born to John and Mary (Smith) Veit in Milford, Iowa. She attended St. Joseph’s School, Milford, for grades 1-8 and then two years at Okoboji Consolidated High School. Sister Florence Marie wrote that “having enjoyed the company of seven sisters and three brothers, the new faces at school held little of the proverbial fright.” After graduation, Florence Marie remained at home a year and then enrolled in St. Anthony Nursing School, Carroll, Iowa. Before the second year was up, she entered St. Rose Convent on January 4, 1942.
 
Florence Marie entered the novitiate on August 12, 1942, and was given the name Sister Mary David. Later she returned to her baptismal name. She made first profession of vows on August 12, 1944, and final profession on August 9, 1950.
 
Having earned a degree in nursing from Viterbo College (University), Sister Florence Marie served as a registered nurse for 11 years at St. Francis Hospital (MCHS-FH), La Crosse, St. Mary’s, Sparta, and Sacred Heart, Idaho Falls. From 1956 to 1964 she ministered at St. Anthony Hospital, Carroll, Iowa, as nurse, anesthesiologist and Director of Nursing. Sister Florence Marie served as administrator of St. Mary’s Hospital, Sparta, for three years before being appointed administrator of Villa St. Joseph in 1967. After receiving her master’s degree in nursing from Wayne State University, Detroit in 1972, she served as an instructor in Viterbo’s nursing program for five years. Sister Florence Marie then moved south and ministered as nurse practitioner at Pembroke, Georgia, and Alberta, Alabama, until her retirement in 1990. During retirement in Mobile, Alabama, she was a volunteer for R.S.V.P. and with the homeless. Sister Florence Marie took up residence at St. Rose Convent in 2001 and Villa St. Joseph in 2009.
 
Community members, family, friends remember Sister Florence Marie for her wonderful sense humor and her sewing skills, especially making baby blankets. She had a heart for the poor. When she was down south, she used to invite sisters over for Reuben sandwiches (which they had to make themselves) and pecan pie. Sister Florence Marie knew how to relax and could be found sitting by the Gulf waters enjoying nature or reading. 
 
Sister Florence Marie is survived by her Franciscan community; four sisters: Rosemarie Crone, Fayetteville, Ohio, Frances Withers, Portland Oregon, Marie (Kenneth) Diersen, Schaller, Iowa, and Leona Marie Mattson, Crescent City, California; one brother: Paul Veit, Odebolt, Iowa; nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers David and Daniel, and her sisters Gertrude, Dorothy and Clara.
 
Friends may call after 3:15 p.m. on Monday, May 16, at St. Rose Convent, La Crosse. A prayer service will be held that evening at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel. A Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 17, in the chapel. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, La Crosse. Schumacher-Kish Funeral Home is assisting with the arrangements.
 
Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin, 54601-4782 or by using the online donation form.

Sister Georgia Hammell, FSPA

Sister Georgia Hammell, FSPASister Georgia Hammell, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 97, died Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015, at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse. She was in the 73rd year of her religious profession.  

Born on Sept. 28, 1918, on a farm near New Albin, Iowa, Sister Georgia was the second daughter of George and Elizabeth (Wall) Hammell. At baptism she received the name Catherine Elizabeth. She attended the school that her father, uncle and neighbors had built. When Catherine fell behind in reading, her father tutored her every night until she caught up. Catherine enjoyed her outside chores more than the housekeeping chores. For the first year of high school, she and her sister took the team and buggy during the warm months and roomed at her grandmother’s house during the winter. Catherine remained home the next two years helping with the farm work. In 1934, she and her sister enrolled in Lansing Public School in order to earn their Normal Teaching Certificate. This time they boarded with their great aunt who would say once in a while, “Maybe Catherine will be a sister.” Catherine really wasn’t thinking about a vocation. Instead of a class ring, her father bought Catherine a guitar and she took lessons from one of the sisters who also asked Catherine about becoming a sister. One Saturday, Catherine accompanied one of the FSPA to La Crosse. Her visit to the Adoration Chapel convinced Catherine that she indeed did have a calling to religious life. Heeding the sense of obligation to repay her parents for the education she had received, Catherine taught two years before entering St. Rose Convent on Aug. 15, 1939. 

Catherine was received into the novitiate on Aug. 12, 1940, and received the name Sister Georgia. She made first profession of vows on Aug. 12, 1942, and final profession on Aug. 9, 1948. 

Entering the field of education, Sister Georgia taught in elementary schools for six years before earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Viterbo College (University) and a master’s degree in nursing from Catholic University, Washington, DC. She ministered as a nursing instructor at St. Francis School of Nursing (Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare) and Viterbo College (University) La Crosse for 34 years, and at St. Anthony Hospital, Carroll, Iowa for six years. Sister Georgia served her FSPA community as Formation Director for the Healthcare Province from 1966-1970. From 1989-2000, she ministered in the Marshall Islands as a nursing instructor at the College of Micronesia in Majuro. Several summers Sister Georgia volunteered nursing at hospitals, a nursing home in Hillsboro, Wisconsin, and even Villa St. Joseph. During her years in healthcare, she also served on different healthcare boards and provincial boards. She retired to St. Rose Convent in 2000 and moved to Villa St. Joseph in 2010.   

Community members, family and friends will remember Sister Georgia as a quiet, gentle person. Both at St. Rose Convent and Villa St. Joseph, if not in the chapel, one could find Sister Georgia at a table putting together a puzzle. She often said that kept her mind sharp. Teaching nursing students was the highlight of her ministry. To this day she is remembered as an excellent, caring nursing instructor, having trained most of the nurses and nurse administrators in the La Crosse area. Over the years as nursing instructor, Sister Georgia received numerous awards for her service, including the Father J. Thomas Finucan Award from Viterbo College (University) and the YWCA Tribute to Outstanding Women Award.   

Sister Georgia is survived by her Franciscan community, her two brothers Lawrence Hammell, Aurora, Colorado, and James Hammell, Eitzen, Minnesota; her three sisters Alberta Troendle, Lansing, Iowa, Esther Walleser, Waukon, Iowa and Pauline Blaskowski, Winona, Minnesota. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers George and Earl and her sister Anna. 

Friends may call after 3:15 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 16 at St. Rose Convent, La Crosse. A prayer service will be held that evening at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 17.  Burial will follow in the family plot at St. Joseph Cemetery in New Albin, Iowa.                        

Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Home, La Crosse, and Thornburg-Grau Funeral Home, Lansing, Iowa, are assisting with arrangements. 

Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601-4782 or by using the online donation form.

Watch Sister Georgia Hammell's funeral Mass.

 

Sister Cordelle Adams, FSPA

Sister Cordelle Adams, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 83, died on November 23, 2015 at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse, Wisconsin. She was in the 61st year of her religious profession.

Sister Cordelle was born Aug. 31, 1932, in Stratford, Wisconsin to Felis and Ethel (Raleigh) Adams. She received the name Alice Mae at her baptism. Alice was the youngest of eleven children. They grew up on a farm. As a large family, they enjoyed all types of outdoor sports. She remembers the love for family and home and once said, “Despite the many little ‘scraps’ children do get into, I was always sure I’d never trade a one of them!” She attended Fairchild Public Country School for her first two years, then St. Joseph School in Stratford, Wisconsin, through grade eight. Her father died shortly after her tenth birthday. It was at that time (during the war) that her family took in homeless children. In all, over the years, they had nine such children. Alice attended Stratford Public High School, where she graduated in 1950. After graduating from high school she worked for a year in Wausau with Employer’s Mutual Life Insurance Company.  It was during that year that she felt God’s call to be a sister. 

Alice entered St. Rose Convent in 1951. She was received into the novitiate on Aug. 12, 1952, where she received the name, Sister Cordelle. She professed her first vows on Aug. 12, 1954. 

Sister Cordelle initially entered the field of education, receiving a bachelor’s degree in education from Viterbo College (Viterbo University) and later a master’s degree in education from Notre Dame University, Notre Dame, Indiana. She taught for 22 years in Wisconsin, Washington and Iowa. In 1978, she shifted ministry and received a pre-nursing degree from Wisconsin Western Technical Institute (Western Technical College). This transition led her to a career in social services and home care in Wisconsin, mostly in La Crosse, for the next 20 years. In 1999, Sister Cordelle moved to St. Rose Convent and served as a volunteer. Villa St. Joseph became her home in 2007.

Community members, family and friends remember Sister Cordelle as always having a smile on her face. She was a generous person and very loyal to her friends. As a home care giver, she was meticulous and caring. 

Sister Cordelle is survived by her Franciscan community, her sister Cordelia Gillett of Estes Park, Colorado, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers: Robert, Bernard, Herman, Eugene, Arnold and Fr. Benedict (Clarence), OFM; and her sisters: Marie Sattler, Margaret Fleece, Frances Steines. 

Sister Cordelle has asked to be cremated.  A prayer service is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel at St. Rose Convent, La Crosse on Monday evening, Nov. 30. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 1 in the chapel.  Burial will take place at Gate of Heaven Cemetery.

Dickinson Family Funeral Home is assisting with the services. 

Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, WI 54601-4782 or by using the online donation form.

Watch Sister Cordelle Adams' funeral Mass.
 

Sister Mary (Mary Bernard) Stadelman, FSPA

Sister Mary StadelmanSister Mary Stadelman, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 88, died on Nov. 23, 2015, at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse, Wisconsin. She was in the 68th year of her religious profession.

Born on March 28, 1927, in Blanchardville, Wisconsin, Mary Louise was the daughter of John and Nina (Bussman) Stadelman. Mary’s parents were from Switzerland and came to Wisconsin for their honeymoon and stayed. In Wisconsin, her father worked in a Swiss cheese factory; Mary and her siblings spent a good amount of time there. Music always filled the family home. Mary’s mother played the zither, her father the violin and the children sang, even trying their best at yodeling. She and her sister often walked the two miles to Loyalty Grade School. One day they decided to take the bicycle. Both were thrown into a ditch when her sister lost control going down a hill. At age seven Mary remembered experiencing God’s call to religious life during one of the two-week Catechism classes offered each summer by the Benedictine Sisters. Mary entered St. Rose Convent on Oct. 26, 1943, where she completed her high school.

Mary was received into the novitiate on Aug. 12, 1945, and was given the name Sister Mary Bernard. Later she returned to her baptismal name. Sister Mary made profession of vows on Aug. 12, 1947, and final profession on Aug. 9, 1953.

Sister Mary entered the field of education after receiving her education degree from Viterbo College (University). She taught middle and upper grade students in elementary schools in Iowa, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin for 33 years including 17 years in Spokane, Washington. During her time in Spokane, she earned a master’s degree in education and guidance counseling from Gonzaga University. After completing the requirements for a Nationally Certified Chaplain, Sister Mary ministered at Sacred Heart Medical Center, Spokane, from 1981 to 1999. She retired in Spokane and then moved in 2001 to St. Rose Convent where she served as sacristan for three years. In 2012, she moved to Villa St. Joseph.

Community members, family, colleagues and friends remember Sister Mary as a prayerful and friendly individual who was always eager to help another. She held meditating, reading and sharing the Word of God with others a high priority in her life. She found her time as chaplain as enriching for her as it was for the patients at the hospital. In her leisure time, Sister Mary enjoyed reading, crocheting, knitting, cooking and baking. A most memorable experience in her life was the year of her sabbatical when she was part of a group who toured the Holy Land for five weeks, with a week spent in Rome.

Sister Mary is survived by her Franciscan community, her brother, Leo from Freeport, Illinois, and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers John and Werner, and her sisters Sophie and Edith.

Since Sister Mary requested a natural burial, her wake will be Monday, Nov. 23, 2015, at 4 p.m. at Villa St. Joseph. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, in the Villa chapel. Burial will follow immediately at Villa St. Joseph. There will be a memorial service for Sister Mary on Monday, Nov. 30, 2015, at 10 a.m. at St. Rose Convent, with sharing following.

Coulee Region Cremation Group is assisting with the arrangements.

Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, WI 54601-4782 or by using the online donation form.

Watch Sister Mary Stadelman's funeral Mass.
 

Sister Charlotte (Charmaine) Seubert, FSPA

Sister Charlotte SeubertSister Charlotte (Charmaine) Seubert, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 79, died on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015, at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse, Wisconsin. She was in the 60th year of religious profession.

Charlotte Frances was born on Jan. 21, 1936, in Marathon, Wisconsin, to Alois and Esther (Dehlinger) Seubert. She attended St. Mary’s School. Since there was no Catholic high school in Marathon, Charlotte attended Marathon Public High School. Coming from a small family, Charlotte and her older sister, Patricia, were very close. During the winter months the family would go skiing and skating together. The seed to be a missionary came from home, as her mother always helped the poor and supported missionaries when she was growing up. Charlotte remembers spending lots of quality time with her father greasing the car, painting and shingling the roof, and other such tasks that her sister Pat didn’t care to do. At one of her quiet times with her father, she confided to him that she wanted to go to the convent. She entered St. Rose Convent in 1951, where she completed her high school.

Charlotte was received into the novitiate on Aug. 12, 1954, and was given the name Sister Charmaine. She later returned to her baptismal name. She made profession of vows on Aug. 12, 1956, and final vows on Aug. 9, 1962.

Sister Charlotte received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Viterbo College (University), attended language school and numerous Hispanic workshops. Entering the education profession, Sister Charlotte taught on the elementary level for five years in Wisconsin and Iowa before volunteering as a missionary in El Salvador in 1962. Sister Charlotte and two other FSPA opened an elementary school in 1963 in Santa Ana, El Salvador. After the school was well established, she was administrator and teacher at La Providencia, a center to train rural leaders. She ministered in Santa Ana, El Salvador, as a teacher, administrator and pastoral minister for 19 years. She reluctantly returned to the United States in 1981, at the time of political unrest in El Salvador. She continued serving the Hispanic people whom she greatly loved at the parish in Muscatine, Iowa, for six years. In 1987, she was invited to become the diocesan coordinator of Hispanic ministries for the Davenport Diocese. Sister Charlotte served there for nine years, then returned to parish ministry with Hispanics and serving a director of religious education at St. Mary’s parish in Davenport. From 1996 until her health deteriorated, she served as director of religious education and then as Adult Faith and RCIA coordinator at Christ the King parish in Moline, Illinois. She moved to Villa St. Joseph in October of 2015.

Community members, family, colleagues and friends will remember Sister Charlotte as a cheerful, peace-filled companion.  She was the light shining in the SonBeams, affiliate companion community—always ready with a kind word and an inspirational thought. Her deep love for the people with whom she worked in El Salvador never faded. Wherever she was, care and respect were hallmarks of her ministry and her life. Sister Charlotte was a great teacher, missionary and pastoral minister and continued to share her deep spirituality even in her dying.   

Sister Charlotte is survived by her Franciscan community and her sister Patricia Seubert of Marathon, Wisconsin. She was preceded in death by her parents.

Friends may call after 3:15 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13, at St. Rose Convent, La Crosse. A prayer service will be held that evening at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14, in the chapel. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, La Crosse. Schumacher-Kish Funeral Home is assisting with the arrangements.

Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, WI 54601-4782 or by using the online donation form

Watch Sister Charlotte (Charmaine) Seubert funeral Mass

 

Sister Marguerite Hagman

Sister Marguerite HagmanSister Marguerite Hagman, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, two days shy of her 93rd birthday, died Nov. 8, 2015, at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse. She was in the 69th year of her religious profession.

Sister Marguerite was born on Nov. 10, 1922, to Frank and Gertrude (Bauer) Hagman in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. At her baptism she was given the name Dolores Frances. Dolores’ family home was always a place of welcome for others. She attended Sacred Heart School. During the summer of 1933, Dolores was confined to bed with inflammatory rheumatism. Dolores’ mother found a beautiful medal of St. Benedict on the front porch window sill. She pinned the medal to Dolores’ clothing and not long afterwards Dolores was feeling much better. The medal seemed to disappear as mysteriously as it appeared. When Dolores got back to school her whole fifth grade class was promoted to seventh grade. She attended Sacred Heart High School for two years and finished at the public school. After graduation, Dolores took a one-year commercial course and then worked in the office at Sacred Heart Hospital for a year. Her next employment was in a defense plant. In the middle of that year Dolores realized God was calling her to religious life. She entered St. Rose Convent on Aug. 30, 1943.

Dolores was received into the novitiate on Aug. 12, 1944, and was given the name Sister Marguerite. She made profession of vows on Aug. 12, 1946, and final vows on Aug. 9, 1952.

Entering the education profession, Sister Marguerite taught at the elementary level for 42 years in Iowa and Wisconsin including 17 years at Immaculate Conception School, Eau Claire. After caring for one of her parents in Eau Claire and a year as Religious Education Coordinator at St. Therese’s, Schofield, Wisconsin, Sister Marguerite realized her passion to work with the elderly. She moved to River Falls, Wisconsin, where she served as pastoral minister at St. Bridget’s Parish, visiting the sick, the elderly and the homebound from 1991 to 2006. She retired at St. Rose Convent in 2006 where she participated in Adoration Hours and various opportunities at the Franciscan Spirituality Center. When her health started declining this past summer, she moved to Villa St. Joseph. 

Community members, family, colleagues and friends will remember Sister Marguerite as a cheerful, friendly companion, always interested in and supportive of others. She loved nature and you could find her outside praising God for all of creation almost every day of the year. Her creativity was shown in many of the projects she made for her sisters and her family. When her eyesight started to fail, she used the computer to create words of praise and wisdom, which she humbly displayed. 

Sister Marguerite is survived by her Franciscan community; her sisters Mary Bombera, Palatine, Illinois, and Patricia (Phil) Grosvold, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin; her brothers Jerome (Dianne) Hagman, Woodruff, Wisconsin, and Francis (Barbara) Hagman, Eau Claire; and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother Donald.

Friends may call after 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015, at St. Rose Convent, La Crosse.  A prayer service will be held that evening at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015.  Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, La Crosse.

Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Home is assisting with the arrangements.

Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, WI 54601-4782 or by using the online donation form.

Watch Sister Marguerite Hagman funeral Mass.

 

Sister Marcella (Anice) Hackman

Sister Marcella HackmanSister Marcella Hackman, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 90, died on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse. Sister Marcella was in her 68th year of religious profession.

Born on April 8, 1925, in Festina, Iowa, Marcella Mary was the daughter of Edward and Anna (Schmitt) Hackman. She attended St. Mary’s School in Festina. Because of scoliosis, she did not have to help with the field work. It was Marcella’s job to tend the children, cook, clean, help milk cows and keep the house in order while her mother and siblings did the outdoor work. Marcella’s father died when she was 16 and she stayed home the following year to help with the work. Marcella had always wanted to enter the convent. She entered St. Rose Convent on Sept. 3, 1942. During her senior year of high school at St. Rose, her sister Agatha (Sister Phyllis Ann) joined her in the postulant class. They have celebrated vows and jubilees together ever since.

Marcella was received into the novitiate on Aug. 12, 1946, and was given the name Sister Anice. She later returned to her baptismal name. She made first profession of vows on Aug. 12, 1948, and final vows on Aug. 9, 1954.

Beginning her active ministry as a teacher, Sister Marcella served in elementary schools in Iowa and Wisconsin for 34 years, including six years each at St. Mary’s Ridge, Wisconsin, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and five years at Sherrill, Iowa. For 13 years, she also served as principal of the school. After leaving the classroom, she earned certification as a Catholic chaplain and was engaged in pastoral ministry at Osage, Iowa, before moving to Guttenberg, Iowa, where Sister Marcella ministered as a director of religious education and pastoral minister for seven years. From 1994 to 2000 she was a member of the pastoral care staff at St. Francis Medical Center (Mayo Clinic Health System—Franciscan Healthcare) in La Crosse. She retired to St. Rose Convent in 2000 and to Villa St. Joseph in 2008

Community members, family and friends will remember Sister Marcella as a peacemaker, a lover of God’s creation and a woman of prayer who served as God’s instrument to others. She was sensitive and caring with the elderly and the sick, the grieving and the poor. She radiated her faith to those around her. Caring for others and bringing Christ to people, whether in schools, parishes or hospitals, was what brought richness to her life. Sister Marcella enjoyed reading, listening to jokes and being with family and friends. Some of her happiest memories were of family get-togethers.  

Sister Marcella is survived by her religious community, including her sister, Sister Phyllis Ann Hackman, FSPA, La Crosse, three other sisters: Irene Shatek, New Hampton, Iowa, Lucille Kruse, Ossian, Iowa, and Phyllis (Duane) Einwalter, Fort Atkinson, Iowa, two brothers: Paul (Betty) Hackman, Calmar, and Norbert (Mary) Hackman, Fort Atkinson, sister-in-law: Florence Hackman, brother-in-law: Joe Shatek and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, Othmar, her sister, Rita Shatek and her brothers-in-law, Wesley Shatek and Art Kruse.

Friend may call after 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 18, at St. Rose Convent. A prayer service will be held that evening at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, Oct. 19, at 10 a.m. in the chapel. Burial is in the family plot at Our Lady of the Seven Dolors Cemetery, Festina, Iowa. 

Dickinson Funeral Home, La Crosse, and Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home, New Hampton, Iowa, are assisting with arrangements.

Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, WI 54601-4782 or by using the online donation form.

Sister Helen Esther (Basile) Lueck

Sister Helen Esther LueckSister Helen Esther (Basile) Lueck, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 94, died Saturday, Sept. 4, 2015, at Villa St. Joseph. She was in the 71st year of her religious profession.
 
On March 28, 1921, Sister Helen Esther was born, the youngest of ten children, to Anton and Elizabeth (Kramer) Lueck, in New Vienna, Iowa. Esther, as she was called, had a happy, peaceful childhood with all of the adventures of farm life. She attended St. Boniface School, staffed by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration for grades 1-12. The sisters were a great inspiration to her and had a strong influence on her choice of vocation. Since the early teens, Esther had a desire to become a religious sister. Her pastor was also a great promoter of religious vocations. Esther, despite her desire, postponed her entrance to St. Rose Convent for two years after her graduation from high school.
 
Esther entered the novitiate on Aug. 12, 1942, and was given the name Sister Basile. Later she returned to her baptismal name. She made first profession of vows on Aug. 12, 1944, and final profession on Aug. 9, 1950.
 
Sister Helen Esther ministered as an elementary school teacher and administrator for 17 years in Carroll, Iowa, Spokane, Washington, and at St. Wenceslaus School, La Crosse. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Viterbo College (University), she earned a master’s degree in administration and supervision from Loyola University in Chicago. From 1961 to 1974, she served as an instructor in the Education Department at Viterbo College. This was followed by a nine-year stint as principal at St. Pius School, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In 1983, Sister Helen Esther was appointed administrator of Villa St. Joseph. After 12 years, she retired from that position and became a volunteer at the Villa as project director. She retired formally at the Villa in 2007.
 
Community members, family, friends remember Sister Helen Esther as a compassionate, creative and courageous woman who had a great concern for her students and her sisters. As an educator, she was well-liked by the students, their parents and the faculty. She went about her work gently and quietly, in consideration of all involved. Sister Helen Esther was responsible for a portion of the renovations of Villa St. Joseph, giving it a feel of home for the sisters. Another gift of hers to the Villa was her beautiful Hummel collection. In her autobiography, she remarked that her favorite ministry was that of serving her elderly sisters. “Doing many things well” was a phrase often used to describe Sister Helen Esther by many.
                                                                                                                       
Sister Helen Esther is survived by her Franciscan community and nieces and nephews, including Sister Karen Lueck, FSPA. She was preceded in death by her parents, four brothers: John, Raymond, Lawrence and Herbert; and her sisters Olive, Rose, Agnes, Clara and Clotilda.
 
Friends may call after 4 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 7, at St. Rose Convent, La Crosse. A prayer service is scheduled for that evening at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 8, in the chapel. Burial will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, La Crosse. Schumacher Kish Funeral Home is assisting with the arrangements.
 
Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin, 54601-4782 or by using the online donation form.

Sister Joyce (DeLourdes) Bantle

Sister Joyce Sister Joyce BantleBantle, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 92, died Saturday, August 15, 2015, at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse. She was in her 62nd year of religious profession.

Sister Joyce, a lifelong resident of La Crosse, was born on April 13, 1922, and baptized at Holy Trinity Church. She attended St. Mary’s School, then Aquinas High School. After graduating, she attended St. Francis School of Nursing, and then earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Viterbo College (University). Later, she earned a Master of Science in nursing from Indiana State University in 1967. 
 
Her career in nursing spanned 46 years at St. Francis Hospital (Mayo Clinic Health System—Franciscan Healthcare) as staff nurse, private duty nurse, head nurse, Assistant Director of Nursing Service, Assistant Clinical Instructor in Emergency Nursing, Director of Clinical Nursing Practice, Administrative Assistant to Director of Nursing, Assistant Administrator of Patient Care and Vice-President of Mission Effectiveness. After retiring in 1994, Sister Joyce spent five years as Director of Health Care Ministry at St. Joseph’s Cathedral Parish, La Crosse. Because of permanent disability after a severe car accident, she retired at St. Rose Convent in 2003, then to Villa St. Joseph in 2013.
 
After a pilgrimage to Lourdes, France and Assisi, Italy, Joyce entered St. Rose Convent. She was received into the novitiate there on August 12, 1951, and given the name Sister DeLourdes. Later she returned to her baptismal name. She made first profession of vows on August 12, 1953, and final profession on August 5, 1959.
 
Community members, family and friends remember Sister Joyce as kind and considerate, a successful nurse and administrator, a gentle woman of God. She was filled with care and compassion toward all whom she encountered. As she herself said, she was willing to try anything if asked, especially if no one else was willing to do the job.Her achievements were honored through various awards. To name a few: 1983 First Tribute to Outstanding Women by St. Francis Hospital, 1985 Spheres of Influence Award from Franciscan Skemp Healthcare Foundation, 1996 Outstanding Alumni Award from Viterbo College, 1993 Iverson-Freking Award, 1989 Distinguished Service Award from the Wisconsin Association of Homes and Services, and 2000 Appreciation of Service from St. Joseph Community Health Services. Upon retiring at St. Rose Convent, Sister Joyce managed the St. Rose Gift Shop. Sister Joyce expressed her life as “a great work of art; every moment of creation contained infinite possibilities.”
 
Sister Joyce is survived by her Franciscan community, her nephew, John in Waco, Texas, and numerous cousins. She was preceded in death by her sister Darlene (Bennie) Engelke. 
 
Sister Joyce requested a natural burial which was held August 17 at Villa St. Joseph. Burial followed immediately in the Natural Burial plot at the Villa. 
 
Memorials may be sent to FSPA, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, WI 54601 or made online using the FSPA donation form. 

Sister Ann Pollpeter

Sister Ann (Mary Medard) Pollpeter, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 86, died on Sunday, August 9, 2015 at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse, Wisconsin.  She was in her sixty-fifth year of religious profession.

Sister Ann was born on January 22, 1929, to August and Wilhelmina (Minnie Lohman) Pollpeter in West Point, Iowa.  She entered St. Rose Convent in 1947 and made profession of vows in 1950.  Sister Ann served as an elementary teacher for two years and then as a biology and chemistry teacher for eleven years in high schools in Idaho, Iowa and Washington.  She taught in the biology department at Viterbo College (University) from 1965-1968 and 1970-1979 before moving to Canton, Mississippi, where she taught high school science and religion.  Changing careers, Sister Ann studied nursing in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, then served as a home health nurse in Canton for four years.  Her missionary spirit led her to the Marshall Islands where she taught nursing and biology at the College of Micronesia in Majuro from 1988-2000.  She retired to Villa St. Joseph where she volunteered wherever needed until her health started to declined.

Sister Ann is survived by her Franciscan Community; four brothers: Ralph (Mary Lou) Pollpeter, Lockport, Illinois, Elmer (Annette) Pollpeter, Burlington, Iowa, Donald (Phyllis) Pollpeter, West Point, IA, and Dennis (Margie) Pollpeter, Fort Madison, Iowa; and nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister Marge Johnson.

Friends may call after 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday, August 12, 2015, at St. Rose Convent.  A prayer service will be held that evening at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel.  The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, August 13, at 10 a.m. in the chapel.  Burial will take place in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, La Crosse. 

Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements. Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street,La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601-4782 or through our online donation form

Sister Lucille Kleinheinz

Sister Lucille Kleinheinz, FSPASister Lucille Kleinheinz, FSPA, 103, died on Sunday, July 26, 2015, at Villa St. Joseph La Crosse, Wisconsin. She was in the 85th year of her religious profession.
 
Born on Oct. 23, 1911, in Madison, Wisconsin, Sister Lucille was the second daughter of Joseph and Teresa (Hildebrand) Kleinheinz. At her baptism, she was given the name Marie Rose. When she was three years old, the family moved to Wausau. The following year her mother died of an accident. The four girls were cared for by different relatives until the father remarried in 1918. Her father and an uncle owned a creamery and were the first to pasteurize milk in the Wausau area. Another uncle joined the corporation and opened an ice cream factory. Marie attended St. Mary’s School in Wausau. She enjoyed reading, embroidery, crocheting, tatting and especially the ice cream treat they had every day. Marie never entertained thoughts of a religious vocation, even after her sister Helen (Sister Clarice) entered St. Rose Convent. One day the pastor approached her and encouraged her to think about becoming a sister. After graduation from eighth grade, Marie packed a suitcase and told her parents that the sisters had invited her to spend the summer at St. Rose with Sister Clarice. When the middle of August came, she wrote to her parents to tell them she was staying at St. Rose and entering the congregation. Her official date of entrance was June 20, 1925.
 
Marie was received into the novitiate on June 28, 1928, and given the name Sister Lucille. She made first profession of vows on Aug. 12, 1930 and final profession on July 20, 1936.
 
After earning a B.A. degree from Viterbo College in English, Latin and education, Sister Lucille ministered as an elementary teacher for seven years and as a high school teacher for 28 years in Iowa and Wisconsin, including 18 years at Aquinas High School. After earning a master’s degree in library science at Rosary College, River Forest, Illinois, she continued working as librarian at Aquinas for 23 more years until her retirement in 1992. Sister Lucille moved to St. Rose Convent in 2001. In mid-March 2010 Sister Lucille was hospitalized for tests. Shortly after her 100th birthday, after a tree was planted at St. Rose in her honor,  she moved permanently to the Villa.
 
Community members, family, students and colleagues will remember Sister Lucille as a woman of prayer, a loyal FSPA, and an excellent teacher who encouraged students and fellow teachers alike. Her wit, ready smile and the aroma of her popcorn drew people to her. She added a spark of entertainment with her written and recited humorous and complimentary poetry and light-hearted “roasting” of individuals. She enjoyed hosting pizza and ice cream parties for the sisters at St. Rose and was constantly sharing sweets with those at Villa St. Joseph. Without fail, the Aquinas Class of 1954 appreciated her presence at their monthly gatherings. Among her accomplishments are: president of the National Catholic Student Library Assistants Association, service on the board of the National Catholic Library Association (1965-1985), enrollment into the International Honor Society of Library Science (1970) and receiving the St. Francis Staff Award from Aquinas High School for a teacher who had significant impact on the students (1999).
 
Sister Lucille is survived by her Franciscan community, one brother: Rev. Joseph Kleinheinz, Merrill, Wisconsin, three sisters: Jane (Duane) Cumberland, Wausau, Wisconsin; Celine Persak, Atwater, Colorado; Eileen (Tom) Lopuszynski, Ashtabula, Ohio; and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and six sisters: Sister Clarice Kleinheinz (d. 2004), Elizabeth, Eleanor, Anna Mae, Lauretta and Verneta, and one brother: Gerald.
 
Friends may call Tuesday, July 28, 2015, after 4 p.m., at St. Rose Convent. A prayer service will be held at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, July 29, 2015, at 10 a.m., in the chapel. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Catholic Cemetery, La Crosse.
 
Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601-4782 or by using the online donation form.   

 

Sister Grace Marie Wilgenbusch

Sister Grace Marie WilgenbuschSister Grace Marie Wilgenbusch, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 95, died on Tuesday, June 30, 2015, at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse.  She was in the 74th year of her religious profession.
 
Sister Grace Marie was born to Frank and Sophis (Vonderhaar) Wilgenbusch on April 11, 1920, on a farm near New Vienna, Iowa. At her baptism, she was given the name Mary Antonette Leonilla.  She went by the name Leonilla. Her young childhood passed quickly on the farm and soon she began attending St. Boniface School in New Vienna. The children traveled back and forth with a horse and buggy. Later, they were “allowed” to use the old model T Ford with only one seat. Some of the children had to sit on the back of the car. This was the most fun on muddy days when the mud squirted through the broken fenders. When Leonilla was in fifth grade, she contracted diphtheria. Since her baby sister was so young, Leonilla and her mother were isolated in one room of their home for several weeks. She was grateful to have survived this disease and continued with her studies. When she was a high school junior, she and a classmate had the privilege of attending a Red Cross Convention in Chicago. Besides learning much about the organization during the daily sessions, the girls enjoyed the sightseeing trips to the Field Museum, the Aquarium, historical buildings and numerous parks. After graduating from high school, Leonilla made known [her] desire to be a religious. Respecting her parents wishes, she remained in the vicinity one year and learned what life is all about without studying and going to school. Leonilla’s whole family accompanied her to La Crosse a year later when, on August 15, 1938, she entered St. Rose Convent.
 
Leonilla was received into the novitiate on August 9, 1938, and given the name Sister Grace Marie. She pronounced first vows on August 12, 1941 and made final profession on August 9, 1947.
 
Entering the teaching profession, Sister Grace Marie taught on the elementary level in parochial schools in Iowa, Washington and Wisconsin for 40 years.  After leaving the classroom in 1981, she ministered in the Tulsa, Oklahoma Diocesan Social Services’ Emergency Assistance program.  From 1985-90, Sister Grace Marie visited and assisted the elderly at Franciscan Villa in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.  Five years later, she had moved back to Wisconsin and served as receptionist and in religious services at Villa St. Joseph.  Sister Grace Marie retired at St. Rose Convent in 1993. In 2010, she returned to the Villa as a resident.
 
Community members, family and friends remember Sister Grace Marie as a kind and gentle person with a beautiful voice. She could often be found with a group of sisters around a card table or working a puzzle. She was a beloved teacher. One of her greatest privileges occurred when she was in ministry at Franciscan Villa in Broken Arrow. Father Pat Murtagh was a resident there and had had a tracheotomy. Sister Grace Marie was privileged to read the Mass prayers aloud for him on several occasions.
 
Sister Grace Marie is survived by her Franciscan community, three sisters: Anna Wright, Esther Knutson, and Valeria Schwers, all of Rockford, Illinois and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sisters Marie and Barbara, and her brothers Albin, Joseph, Emil and John.
 
Friends may call after 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, July 2, at St. Rose Convent, La Crosse.  A prayer service will be held that evening at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 3, in the chapel. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, La Crosse.
 
Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street,La Crosse, Wisconsin, 54601-4782 or by using the online donation form.
 
Schumacher-Kish Funeral Home is assisting with the arrangements.

Sister Marlene (Mary Brian) Weber

Sister Marlene Weber, FSPASister Marlene Weber, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 76, died Monday, April 27, 2015 at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse. She was in her 54th year of religious profession.
 
Marlene Elizabeth Weber was born Nov. 12, 1938 to John and Bernadine Keene Weber in Miami, Florida. Mr. Weber worked as a carpenter at the boat yards. When Marlene, oldest of three children, was four, her family moved to Iowa, her mother’s home state; her father continued his carpentry trade. Marlene enjoyed school and participated in sports and music throughout her high school years. After which she worked for an insurance company for two years while discerning what God had in store for her. During a visit to St. Rose Convent with her local pastor, she knew God was calling her to the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. In 1958, she entered the congregation. A year later, Marlene was received into the novitiate and given the name Sister Mary Brian; she later returned to her baptismal name. She made her first profession on Aug. 12, 1961. 
 
Her ministry in education began for her as a middle grade teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and Marathon, Wisconsin. After completing her bachelor’s degree in elementary education, she received a master’s degree in sociology. Sister Marlene taught sociology at Viterbo College (University) for six years. During her time there, she was an exchange instructor for one year at Owensboro, Kentucky. Continuing studies in sociology, Sister Marlene earned a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Minnesota. Later, she served as a pastoral associate for three years in Duluth, Minnesota, before being called to serve as administrator of St. Rose Convent. Four years later, Sister Marlene moved back to Viterbo College as Dean of Students. In 1994, Sister Marlene worked in campus ministry at St. Thomas Aquinas Center in West Lafayette, Indiana. She was again called to serve the congregation as mission councilor from 1998 to 2002. For the next eight years, Sister Marlene was part of the retreat team at Mount Alverno Retreat Center in Appleton, Wisconsin. When her health started to decline, she moved to St. Rose Convent and then to Villa St. Joseph in 2013.
 
Sister Marlene was known for her keen ability to listen and provide encouragement, even through her own suffering. She saw the hand of God in everything and everyone she touched. She loved St. Francis of Assisi and could not learn enough about him and his spirit, which fed her spirit. Working in education, pastoral care and at the retreat centers provided ample opportunity for Sister Marlene to engage with others, which she thoroughly enjoyed. Sister Marlene gently shared her laughter and wit readily with all she met.
 
Sister Marlene is survived by her Franciscan community, her brother Thomas (Nancy) Weber of Longmont, Colorado, and sister Barbara Marie (Jack) Schmidt of West Bend, Iowa. She was preceded in death by her parents.
 
Friends may call after 4 p.m., Sunday, May 3, at St. Rose Convent. A prayer service will be held that evening at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Sister Marlene in Mary of the Angels Chapel on Monday, May 4, at 10 a.m. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, La Crosse.
 
Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601-4782 of by using the online donation form.

 

Sister Mariquita Luby, FSPA

Sister Mariquita Luby, FSPASister Mariquita Luby, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 95, died Friday, April 24, 2015, at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse, Wisconsin. She was in the 71st year of religious profession.
 
On Nov. 9, 1919, Sister Mariquita was born to Louis and Zildah (Navarre) Luby, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  At her baptism she was named Lois Eulalie. A year after her birth, Lois’ family moved north to Monico and later to Rhinelander. She attended public school for grades 1-3 and then transferred to St. Mary’s School, Rhinelander. When Lois was a sophomore in high school, the family moved to Gillett, Wisconsin. After completing high school, Lois became a nurse aide at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Green Bay. Fourteen months later, she moved back to Milwaukee as a nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Three FSPA were taking courses at Marquette University at that time; she worked with them at the hospital. Influenced by their life and values, Lois entered St. Rose Convent on Jan. 3, 1941.
 
She entered the novitiate on Aug. 12, 1942, and was given the name Sister Mariquita. She made first profession of vows on Aug. 12, 1944 and final profession on Aug. 9, 1950.
 
Entering the health care profession, Sister Mariquita served as a registered nurse and instructor at St. Francis Hospital and School of Nursing from 1944 to 1959. She moved to Carroll, Iowa, where became the director of the Practical School of Nursing at St. Anthony Regional Hospital for eleven years. Sister Mariquita was appointed director of retirement at St. Rose Convent in 1970. After four years, she joined the House of Prayer and did part-time nursing at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Hillsboro, Wisconsin. From 1978 to 1989, Sister Mariquita served as director of special services at a nursing home in Freeport, Illinois. She moved to Mobile, Alabama, where she ministered as a volunteer with the Catholic Social Center for two years. Next, she called Villa St. Joseph her home and place of ministry where she served as activity director. She moved to St. Rose Convent in 1998. While at St. Rose, she was the co-manager of the gift shop, until she retired to Villa St. Joseph in 2013.
 
“Sister Creativity!” Community members, family and friends all remember Sister Mariquita as a remarkably creative person, an excellent seamstress, a woman who tried to make life more pleasant for all with whom she worked.  “Reuse, recycle” were words familiar to Sister Mariquita a very long time ago as she created pieces of art out of ordinary things. She could look at something at a craft fair and go home and make it. She could also have something to eat once and go home and cook it without a recipe. THAT is a gift!  And she used those gifts for others. Her experience in retirement homes taught her many things: “There is such demand for efficiency and cleanliness that beauty gets forgotten. I like to put something beautiful in their lives.”  A smile and a good laugh were gifts she shared each day. In her retirement years at St. Rose, she became the decorator of the gathering room. Each year, sisters and guests alike looked forward to the Christmas decorations, appreciating over again the decor from the year before and marveling over the new items she had created out of wine bottles, elk antlers, grapevines or plastic balls. Sister Mariquita sold many of her creations in the St. Rose gift shop. 
 
Sister Mariquita is survived by her Franciscan community and cousins, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, three brothers, Paul, John and James, and two sisters, Jeanette and Eleanor (Sister Mary Noel).
 
Friends may call after 3:15 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, at St. Rose Convent, La Crosse. A prayer service will be held at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel that evening. Reverend Richard Tulko, OFM, will preside at the Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 29, in Mary of the Angels Chapel. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, La Crosse.
 
Memorials may be sent to the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin, 54601-4782 or by using the online donation form.

 

Sister Mary Alice Foley

Sister Mary Alice Foley, FSPASister Mary Alice Foley, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 92, died Friday, April 17, 2015 at Villa St. Joseph. She was in the 71st year of her religious profession.
 
On Jan. 6, 1923, Mary Alice was born to George Lyman Foley and Beatrice (Be’nard) Foley, in Montreal, Wisconsin. Her father was accountant/bookkeeper for the Montreal Mining Company. Three years after Mary Alice’s birth, the family moved to Ashland, Wisconsin, where she attended St. Agnes Grade School and De Padua High School. A strong desire to become a sister was felt in grade school, but it was during Mary Alice’s sophomore year that she began to think seriously about a religious vocation. She entered St. Rose Convent on Aug. 17, 1940.

Mary Alice was received into the novitiate on Aug. 12, 1942, and given the name Sister Bernelle. (She later returned to her baptismal name.) She made first profession of vows on Aug. 12, 1944, and final profession on Aug. 9, 1950.
 
Sister Mary Alice received a bachelor’s degree in education and a minor in art from Viterbo College (University). Entering the field of education, Sister Mary Alice taught primary grades in elementary schools in Iowa, Montana, Washington and Wisconsin for 33 years.  After leaving the classroom, she ministered to the elderly for a year and then was a ward clerk at a hospital for a year in Superior, Wisconsin. From 1981 to 1984, Sister Mary Alice worked with exceptional children in Freeport, Illinois. She also served as library aide, secretary, tutor and teacher for several years in Ashland and Durand, Wisconsin. In 1993, she retired to St. Rose Convent, before making her home at Villa St. Joseph in 2006.
 
Community members, family, and friends remember her as an excellent primary teacher. Sister Mary Alice loved children and was very patient with them. Her work with exceptional children was very dear to her; her afternoons were spent in the pool with children with developmental disabilities where she helped them to be mobile in a way they could not have achieved out of the water. She was a fun-loving person who enjoyed playing practical jokes, as well as having them played on her.
 
Sister Mary Alice is survived by her Franciscan community; a sister-in-law Gwen Foley of Milwaukee; a brother-in-law Thomas Tucker of La Crosse; and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers: Walter, Robert, Hamilton, Bernard and Joseph; and her sisters Mae Marie McDonald, Edna Orin and Colleen Tucker.
 
Friends may call after 3:15 p.m. on Monday, April 20, 2015, at St. Rose Convent, La Crosse. A prayer service will be held that evening at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 21, in the chapel. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, La Crosse.
 
Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin, 54601-4782 or by using the online donation form.

Sister Janet Dalton, FSPA

Sister Janet Dalton, FSPASister Janet Dalton, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 79, died Wed., April 1, 2015, at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse. She was in her 55th year of religious profession. 

Born on March 28, 1936 in Galesburg, Illinois, Sister Janet was the fifth of eight children born to Orville and Elizabeth (Meehan) Dalton. Growing up, Janet Marie was active in sports and numerous activities. She played the flute in the school band at Galesburg Senior High School. As a junior, she was awarded “Outstanding Woman Athlete of the Year.”  After graduating from high school, Janet worked in several office positions before joining the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Heart in Peoria, Illinois.   

In 1960 she was professed as a Franciscan Sister of the Immaculate Heart in Peoria, Illinois. Sister Janet started her ministry in education in various schools in Illinois and Arizona. She responded to the call to be a social worker, earning her MSW at the University of Illinois to become a licensed social worker. In 1993, she entered the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in La Crosse. Upon joining the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, Sister Janet returned to Arizona where she was principal and school counselor until elected as a Mission Councilor for the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. In 2002, after a term of four years, Sister Janet returned to Arizona and ministered as a counselor on the Tohono O’odham Reservation. She retired in 2013 and moved to Villa St. Joseph in 2014 when her health began declining.

Community members and friends will remember Sister Janet for her delightful humor and outgoing spirit. She had a bubbly personality; her eyes sparkled with joy and mischief! She treasured being with people of all ages, personalities and diverse life styles. Sister Janet often remarked how she had been blessed with many faithful, devoted friends. Her deep concern for the needs of the church and the world was evident in all that she did. No one could doubt her complete attention while listening to the concerns of her sisters, clients, students, friends or strangers. Her dedication to the Native American Indians was recognized numerous times by the Diocese of Tucson, as well as on the reservation where she served. 

Sister Janet is survived by her Franciscan community; two brothers: Daniel and Michael, both of Galesburg, Illinois, and three sisters: Anne (Mrs. Hugh) Bannon of Park Ridge, Illinois, Frances Cirimotich of Glendale, Arizona, and Elizabeth LeMauire in Phoenix, Arizona. She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister Joan Anderson and brother Orville. 

Friends may call after 3:15 p.m., Monday, April 6, at St. Rose Convent.  A prayer service will be held that evening at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Sister Janet on Tuesday, April 7, at 10 a.m. Burial will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, La Crosse.

Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601-4782, or by using the online donation form.

Sister Leclare Beres, FSPA

Sister Leclare Beres, FSPA

Sister Leclare Beres, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 88, died on Friday, Nov. 28, 2014, at Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare. She was in the 68th year of her religious profession.
 
Born July 21, 1926, on a farm near Elroy, Wisconsin, Sister Leclare was the daughter of Mathias and Clara (Staerz) Beres.  At her baptism she was given the name Marcella Evelyn. Marcella went to Millard’s Prairie School, a one-room schoolhouse about a half mile from her home, for grades one through eight. She attended Elroy High School, three to five miles away, depending on which route she chose to walk. After graduation, she lived with her brother and his wife in Milwaukee; while there she worked in a restaurant. In spring, she went home to help on the farm. Though she felt the call to religious life early on, she struggled with the choice between that and marriage after high school. After prayer and discussions with her parish priest and the sisters, Marcella entered St. Rose Convent on Aug. 28, 1944. She chose the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration because the community had a mission in China, where she hoped to go some day and because her sister, Sister Theone, was a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration.
 
Marcella was received into the novitiate on Aug. 12, 1945, and given the name Sister Leclare. She made profession of vows on Aug. 12, 1947, and final profession on Aug. 9, 1953.
 
Sister Leclare began her education in healthcare at St. Anthony School of Nursing in Carroll, Iowa. Later she received her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Viterbo College (University) and a master’s degree in nursing from Marquette University.

Entering the healthcare profession, Sister Leclare worked in pediatrics and as Director of Nursing for 30 years in St. Francis Medical Center (Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare), La Crosse, St. Anthony Hospital, Carroll, Sacred Heart Hospital, Idaho Falls and Guam Memorial Hospital. She served her FSPA community as Health Care Coordinator from 1976-1980 and as a member of the Formation Team from 1982-1987. During this time she was also working at the hospital and then became Director of the Indochinese Screening Clinic which provided healthcare to the refugees from Southeast Asia for fourteen years. In 1993, St. Clare Health Mission was founded and Sister Leclare was appointed director. After ten years she retired from that position, but continued to volunteer at the mission. Sister Leclare retired at St. Rose in 2006. She moved to Villa St. Joseph in October 2014 when her health seriously declined.
 
Community members, family, colleagues and friends remember Sister Leclare as a simple Franciscan, a prayerful woman, a champion for the poor. She spoke her mind readily, confronted injustices, and was exceedingly compassionate. Sister Leclare worked with people from different cultures and found it such an enriching experience. Her name is well-known in the La Crosse area and more than once she was referred to as St. Clare, so closely associated she was with the St. Clare Health Mission. For her dedicated service to the community and to the poor, Sister Leclare was awarded the YWCA Tribute to Outstanding Women in 1992, the Franciscan Skemp Foundation Spheres of Influence Award in 1993, the Viterbo College (University) Pope John XXIII Award in 1995, the Iverson Freking Ecumenical Recognition Award in 1996, the Rotary Club’s Jean Harris Award in 2000, the La Crosse Tribune’s first Person of the Year Award in 2002, and the Marquette University Alumni Service to the Community Award in 2005. . . to name just a few.
 
Sister Leclare is survived by her Franciscan community; three sisters: Monica (Paul) Zielinski, Clemson, South Carolina, Eileen (John) Krubar, Campbell, California, Patricia Beres, Truth or Consequences, New Mexico; two sisters-in-law: Barbara Beres, Elroy, Wisconsin, and Edith Beres, Wonewoc, Wisconsin; and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, five brothers: Stephen, Raymond, Clarence, Floyd and Louis; and two sisters: Sister Theone and Florence.
 
Since Sister Leclare had requested a natural burial, a prayer vigil will be held at 4 p.m. at Villa St. Joseph on Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014. The Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled to be celebrated at the Villa at 9 a.m., Monday, Dec. 1. Burial at the natural burial grounds for the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration at Villa St. Joseph will follow immediately. There will be a gathering and sharing for friends and relatives at St. Rose Convent on Thursday, Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m.  A Memorial Mass will be offered for Sister Leclare at St. Rose on Friday, Dec. 5 at 10:30 a.m.
 
Memorials may be made by using the online donation form or sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, WI 54601-4782 or St. Clare Health Mission, 916 Ferry Street, La Crosse, WI 54601.
 
Coulee Region Cremation Group is assisting with the services.

Sister Alice Kaiser, FSPASister Alice Kaiser, FSPA

Sister Alice Kaiser, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 85, died on Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014, at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse, Wisconsin. She was in the 64th year of her religious profession.
 
Alice Clara was born on Aug. 28, 1929, to Matthias and Thecla (Wagner) Kaiser in Stratford, Wisconsin. She grew up on the family farm with her ten brothers and sisters. After finishing grade school at St. Joseph’s, she helped with baby sitting and housework for her aunts. She entered St. Rose Convent in 1945 and completed her high school there before entering the novitiate in 1948, receiving the name Sister Annita. (Later, she returned to her baptismal name.) She made profession of vows on Aug. 12, 1950 and final profession on Aug. 9, 1956.
 
Sister Alice served as elementary teacher for ten years in Wisconsin and Washington, and 13 years as English teacher in junior/senior high schools in Ashland, Eau Claire, Superior, Aquinas in La Crosse, and Fridley, Minnesota. After leaving the classroom, Sister Alice became Residence Life Director at Viterbo College (University) before being named Dean of Students in 1976. In 1983, she changed ministries and became pastoral associate at Our Lady Queen of the Universe Parish in Woodruff, Wisconsin. Sister Alice was elected to a four-year term as FSPA President in 1990. In 1995, she began a four-year stint as English teacher at Viterbo College (University). Shortly after retiring in La Crosse in 1999, Sister Alice fell at home. While recuperating at Villa St. Joseph, she had a stroke, which paralyzed her right side.
 
Community members, family and colleagues will remember Sister Alice as a loving, caring person. She always had a smile for everyone. As a history buff, she kept abreast of current events, even when she couldn’t share her perspective with others. Her love for travelling, both internationally and on foot at home, led her to many exciting places here and abroad. Sister Alice was known for her details and organizational skills, which, in her years at Villa St. Joseph, served her well as “master puzzle builder.”
 
Sister Alice is survived by her Franciscan Community; four sisters: Sister Mae Kaiser, FSPA, La Crosse; Mildred (Anthony) Eilers and Monica (Richard) Baierl, both of Marshfield, Wisconsin; and Carol (Gary) Watson of Corvallis, Oregon, and four brothers: Joseph (Catherine) and Mark (Agnes) both of Stratford; Edward (Delphine) of Appleton, Wisconsin; and Paul (Joan) Kaiser, of Great Falls, Montana, and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister, Sister Joann Kaiser, FSPA and her brother, Father Leonard Kaiser.
 
Friends may call after 3:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, when her body will be brought to St. Rose Convent.  A prayer service will be held the same evening at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Rose Convent on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014, at 10 a.m.  Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, La Crosse.
 
Dickinson Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.
 
Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin or by using the online donation form.

 

Sister Marian Kluesner, FSPA

Sister Marian Kluesner, FSPASister Marian Kluesner, FSPA, 81, died Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014, at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse. She was in the 61st year of her religious profession.
 
Sister Marian was born to Raymond and Luella (Buenker) Kluesner on Dec. 31, 1932 at the family farm house in New Vienna, Iowa. She was baptized at St. Boniface Church and given the name Marian Esther. She and her six brothers and sisters grew up on the farm and attended St. Boniface School in New Vienna. After graduation from high school, Marian entered St. Rose Convent on Sept. 4, 1951. 
 
Marian was received into the novitiate on Aug. 12, 1952 and given the name Sister Mary Marlys. She pronounced first vows on Aug. 12, 1954.
 
She entered the field of education and earned a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in art from Viterbo College (University). Sister Marian taught middle grades and high school in Wisconsin and Iowa. After 20 years in the field of education, she studied occupational therapy and served as therapist at Villa St. Joseph. In 1976, she moved into the social service field and worked for Catholic Social Service and Catholic Charities in Oklahoma and in Texas. She was Director of Catholic Charities, then Director of Emergency Assistance for El Paso Diocese for twenty-five years. After almost 40 years of serving the poor, Sister Marian retired to St. Rose Convent in 2012. A little over a week ago, Sister Marian’s health deteriorated quickly and she moved to Villa St. Joseph.
 
Family, friends and community remember Sister Marian as a person with a heart for the poor. Her quiet compassion touched thousands over the years. She welcomed everyone and helped in any way she could. She was often teased that her compassion even extended to stray cats, a true follower of St. Clare of Assisi. Sister Marian was a great story teller and found humor in the smallest things. She loved to sing and was delighted to be part of the St. Rose Schola.
 
Sister Marian is survived by her Franciscan community; three sisters, Helen Reardon, Dyersville, Iowa, Jean Kluesner, New Vienna, and Elizabeth (Lenny) Leick, Epworth, Iowa; and one brother, Robert Kluesner, Little Canada, Minnesota.  She was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers, Francis and Ralph.
 
Friends may call after 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 4, at St. Rose Convent, La Crosse.  A prayer service will be held at 6:30 p.m. that evening in Mary of the Angels Chapel. The Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014 in Mary of the Angels Chapel. Sister Marian’s body will be taken to New Vienna for burial at St. Boniface Cemetery with her family. There will be a funeral Mass for Sister Marian Kluesner at St. Boniface Church in New Vienna, Iowa on Thursday, Nov. 6 at 10:30 a.m., followed by burial at St. Boniface Cemetery. Visitation is from 9 to 10:15 a.m. before Mass. Schumacher-Kish Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements in La Crosse and Kramer Funeral Home with those in New Vienna.
 
Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, WI, 54601- 4782 or by using the online donation form.

 

Sister Barbara Freed, FSPA

Sister Barbara Freed, FSPASister Barbara Freed, FSPA, 98, died Monday, Oct. 20, 2014, at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse. She was in the 80th year of her religious profession.
 
Sister Barbara was born to John and Leila (Smith) Freed on August 14, 1916, in Coulee City, Washington. At her baptism she was named Barbara Marie. The family moved to Worely, Idaho, shortly after her birth, and then to Spokane several years later. Barbara attended St. Joseph School staffed by the Notre Dame Sisters for grades one and two. Because the family moved to different part of the city, Barbara then enrolled in St. Augustine School staffed by the FSPA. After graduation, she attended two years of high school at Marycliff High School in Spokane. On August 5, 1931, Barbara entered St. Rose Convent and completed her high school education there.
 
Barbara was received into the novitiate on August 8, 1933 and given the name, Sister Octavia. She pronounced first vows on August 6, 1935, and final vows on August 9, 1941.
 
Choosing the field of education, Sister Barbara served for eight years as a music teacher in elementary schools, 11 years in high schools, including nine years at Marycliff in Spokane, and nine years at Viterbo College (University). After leaving the classroom, she became involved in social concerns, serving as FSPA Justice and Peace Coordinator for two years. Sister Barbara moved back to Spokane for a year, and then on to Las Vegas where she was named coordinator of the Franciscan Center for Peace and Justice, a satellite of the Catholic Community Service News. From 1996-2002, Sister Barbara ministered at Clare Center Spirituality Center, Spokane. Her last three years of active ministry were with the CHORE program of Catholic Charities, Spokane. She made her home at Villa St. Joseph in 2005.

 
Family, friends and community members remember Sister Barbara as an excellent musician. She was an outstanding violinist and composer. Several of her compositions are still being used at community liturgical services. Recently, her composition, “Prayer of Praise” was previewed at the National Pastoral Musicians Convention. Her involvement in justice and peace issues evidenced her great passion for the underserved. Playing cards and Scrabble were favorite pastimes of Sister Barbara.
 
Sister Barbara is survived by her Franciscan Community; one sister, Kathleen Nengelkoch, Tualatin, Oregon; a sister-in-law Lilia Freed, Rohnert Park, California; and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers: John and Emil William, Jr., and three sisters: Sister Patricia Freed, FSPA, Sister Christine Freed, RGS and Mary Elizabeth Schirmer.
 
Since Sister Barbara had requested a natural burial, a prayer vigil will be held at 4 p.m. at Villa St. Joseph on October 20, 2014. The Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled to be celebrated at the Villa at 9 a.m., Tuesday, October 21. Burial at the natural burial grounds for the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration at Villa St. Joseph will follow immediately. A memorial Mass will be offered for Sister Barbara at St. Rose Convent on Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. Coulee Region Cremation Group is assisting with arrangements.
 
Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, WI, 54601-4782 or by using the online donation form.

 

Sister Jocelyn Snyder, FSPA

Sister Jocelyn Snyder, FSPASister Jocelyn Snyder, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 94, died Sept. 12, 2014, at Villa St. Joseph. She was in the 69th year of her religious profession.

Sister Jocelyn was born on April 8, 1920, the oldest daughter of John and Josephine (Coon) Snyder on her grandfather’s farm near Breda, Iowa. She was baptized the same day and given the name Luella Mary Elizabeth. When she was four years old, her family moved to their own farm. She and her siblings drove to St. Bernard’s School in a cart pulled by a Shetland pony. “When I was small, I always managed to get every childhood disease that came along. When I was eleven I got smallpox just before Christmas, and I was seriously sick for some time.” Like all farm children, she worked in the fields as well as in the house. Luella even had a few years experience working in the local funeral home. Her formal education stopped at the end of the ninth grade, since her mother was in need of help at home. During the summer of 1942, her sister Marie, two cousins and a girl friend visited St. Rose Convent. The following year on Aug. 30, 1943, Luella and her sister Dolora joined the community in La Crosse.

Luella, received into the novitiate on Aug. 12, 1944, was given the name Sister Jocelyn. She made profession of vows on Aug. 12, 1946, and final vows on Aug. 9, 1952.

Ministering as a homemaker she served in convent homes in La Crosse, Athens, Marathon, Ashland and Prairie du Chien in Wisconsin and St. Lucas, Muscatine and Bellevue in Iowa for 17 years. She was in charge of the bakery at St. Rose Convent from 1956 to 1964, after which she went back on mission and ministered as homemaker. Her skill in the bakery called her back to St. Rose in 1970 where she worked until 1995. Sister Jocelyn retired at St. Rose Convent in 1995. In early 2013 her health began deteriorating and she moved to Villa St. Joseph.

Community members, family, colleagues and friends will remember Sister Jocelyn as a gentle woman, a woman of great faith, and an excellent baker. Many have spent years trying to get their cornbread as light and fluffy as hers, or to make the famous carrot rolls everyone enjoyed on feast days, or the blueberry buckle. She always had a twinkle in her eye and a smile to warm anyone’s heart.

Sister Jocelyn is survived by her Franciscan community; two sisters: Dolora Snyder and Lois (Merlin) Thelen, both of Omaha, Nebraska, her sisters-in-law Delores Snyder, Storm Lake, Iowa, and Rose Snyder, Carroll, Iowa, and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Rudell, Urban and Norbert and her sister Marie.

Friends may call after 4:00 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014 at St. Rose Convent, La Crosse. A prayer service will be held at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 15, 2014 in Mary of the Angels Chapel. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, La Crosse. Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Home is assisting with the arrangements.

Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, WI 54601-4782 or by using the online form.

 

Sister Dolorice Schier, FSPA 

Sister Dolorice Schier, FSPASister Dolorice Schier, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 101, died Aug. 7, 2014, at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse. Sister Dolorice is the 1,300th FSPA to die. Her health had been declining, especially during the past year. She was in her 81st year of religious profession.

On Jan. 1, 1913, Sister Dolorice was born to Bernard and Catherine (Burwinkel) Schier in West Point, Iowa. At her baptism she was given the name Irene Frances. Irene grew up on a small farm that her father managed, along with a funeral home in West Point. She attended St. Mary’s School, staffed by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, until she entered St. Rose Convent as a sophomore on Aug. 18, 1928.

Irene entered the novitiate and received the name Sister Dolorice on Aug. 12, 1930. On Aug. 10, 1932, she professed first vows and made final profession on June 17, l938.

Ministering in the field of education, she served 18 years as a teacher in schools in Iowa, Idaho and Wisconsin. From 1950 to 1982, Sister Dolorice ministered at St. Michael’s Home as a teacher, a group mother, and finally as the Central Service Coordinator. Before her retirement to St. Rose Convent in 1995, she was assistant audio-visual librarian at Viterbo College and served as sacristan at the campus church from 1982 to 1996. In 2009, Sister Dolorice moved to Villa St. Joseph.

Community members, family, colleagues and students remember Sister Dolorice as a dedicated teacher. She was an energetic and generous person who would go the extra mile for anyone. But most of all, Sister Dolorice was a woman of prayer. God was her source of inspiration, her fountain of strength, her delight. In her retirement she enjoyed giving tours of the chapels and taking hours of adoration. Sister Dolorice received the J. Thomas Finucan Award from Viterbo College in 1993, the YWCA Tribute to Outstanding Women in 1992 for her contribution to Viterbo College, and earned a Certificate of Appreciation from the Hmong Mutual Assistance Association for her volunteer work with the refugees in 1983-1984.

When interviewed in 1996, she spoke about her time at St. Michael’s, “It was difficult at first. I remember that I cried for several days. One day I overheard one of the sisters tell Sister Grace Schoemann, who was the superior, that she should ask Reverend Mother to remove me, insisting, ‘We can’t have that Sister crying here.’ At that point, I decided that I had better shape up and do my best. I could write volumes about my experiences at St. Michael’s. I enjoyed my 7th and 8th grade students. When the classrooms were closed and the students sent to the city schools, I was asked to take over the counseling of the older boys. I wondered about the wisdom of this, but I ‘grew into my work.’ I had great sympathy for these boys and tried my best to play the part of a good stepmother. Many days were tiring; many were interesting; a lot of days were happy ones.”

She described her life aptly in a reflection last year at her 80th jubilee celebration, “My life as a Franciscan Sister for over eighty years has been truly wonderful, for which I am grateful to God. Working with so many young teenagers was the focus of my life. The sisters with whom I lived and worked brought great joy to me.” Sister Dolorice brought joy to her sisters, also. Those on foreign missions would eagerly await her weekly “letters from home” with all sort of newsy items.

Sister Dolorice is survived by her Franciscan Community, her sister-in-law, Floradean (John) Schier, Fort Madison, Iowa, and numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers, Paul and John, and her two sisters, Anna Marie and Geline.

Friends may call Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014. The body will be received at St. Rose Convent at 9:30 a.m., followed by a wake service in Mary of the Angels Chapel. Fr. Richard Tulko, OFM will preside at the Mass of Christian Burial, Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, at 1:30 p.m. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, La Crosse.

Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601-4782 or by using the online donation form.

 

Sister Beatrice (Vitalis) Merkes, FSPA

Sister Beatrice Merkes, FSPASister Beatrice Merkes, FSPA, 93, died on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 (two days shy of her 94th birthday), at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse. She was in the 74rth year of her religious profession.

Sister Beatrice, the second oldest of the ten children of Nicholas and Mary (Wagner) Merkes, was born on June 20, 1920, in Rozellville, Wisconsin. Since German was spoken in the home, Beatrice could speak no English when she started school. She relied on her older sister to translate for her, but she acquired English quickly. The family learned how to cope with death early on. Four of Beatrice’s siblings died before they attained the age of two. Since sixth grade, Beatrice was determined to enter religious life. Her parents and relatives were overjoyed by her decision. She entered St. Rose Convent after she graduated from eighth grade, on Aug. 15, 1934.

Beatrice was received into the novitiate on Aug. 9, 1938, and was given the name Sister Vitalis. (She later returned to her baptismal name.) She pronounced first vows on Aug. 12, 1940, and made final profession on Aug. 9, 1946.

Sister Beatrice served as an elementary teacher for 28 years in Iowa and Wisconsin. After earning a master’s degree in education, she ministered at Newman High School, Wausau, Wisconsin, as teacher and school counselor. Five years later, Sister Beatrice was on staff at a support house. She moved to Okmulgee, Oklahoma, where she was engaged in parish ministry from 1979-1983. Following a year working with refugee resettlement in Tulsa, Sister Beatrice served as Director of Adult Education in parishes in Marshall, Minnesota, and Sioux City, Iowa, for several years. She retired to St. Rose Convent in 1991 where she served as chapel tour guide for many years. When her health weakened in 2010, she moved to Villa St. Joseph.

Community members, family and friends remember Sister Beatrice as someone vitally interested in life. “Be,” as she called herself, was an avid reader and participated in a variety of book discussion groups over the years. She was interested in many and diverse things. In fact, she was a faithful participant in the Northern Province’s “Future Searchers.” One of the ways her artistic nature was seen was through the numerous cards she would create for jubilees, birthdays and Christmas. Everyone who knew her described her as “gentle and always smiling.”

Sister Beatrice is survived by her Franciscan community, two brothers: Hubert (Rosemary) Merkes, Neosho, Wisconsin, and Alvin (Beatrice) Merkes, Kenosha, Wisconsin, her sister-in-law: Anne Merkes, Edgar, Wisconsin; and nieces and nephews and FSPA relatives. She was preceded in death by her parents, five brothers, Norbert, Jerome, Joseph, Cyril and Andrew; and two sisters, Loretta and Monica.

Friends may call after 3:15 p.m. on Tuesday, June 24, 2014, at St. Rose Convent, La Crosse. A prayer service will be held at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel that evening. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Sister Beatrice at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 25, in Mary of the Angels Chapel. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, La Crosse.

Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin, 54601-8800 or offered online.

Sister Elissa Kamaka, FSPA

Sister Elissa Kamaka, FSPASister Elissa Kamaka, FSPA, 82, died Thursday, June 12, 2014, at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse, peacefully surrounded by several of her religious sisters and Villa staff. She was in the 61st year of her religious profession.

Born on March 5, 1932, Sister Elissa was the third child of James and Elizabeth (Pang) Kamaka in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii. Her father, a native Hawaiian, was an inactive Mormon and her mother, Chinese, practiced traditional Chinese religion. However, at the age of seven, Barbara, as she was named, and her older brother and sister were baptized Catholics. She attended St. Theresa Grade School. The children had to pay their own way through high school and college so Barbara spent hours in the pineapple canneries. In her autobiography she stated, “Though we were economically poor in material things during the early years of our growth and development, we were rich in three values taught by our parents: the dignity of hard work, excellent education of oneself and service to others.” At the age of 19, against her parents’ wishes, Barbara entered the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The community was her fourth choice, having been denied by one community because of her parents’ religious background and the other two because she was not able to meet the financial obligations. Adjustments to culture, spirituality, and racial discrimination were challenges, at first.

Barbara was received into the novitiate on June 13, 1952 and was given the name Sister Elissa. She pronounced first vows on Aug. 15, 1953 and made final profession on Aug. 15, 1958. In 1985 she transferred from the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity to the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration and was formally incorporated as an FSPA in 1988.

Entering the field of education, Sister Elissa taught in elementary schools in Arizona, Hawaii and Wisconsin for 17 years before being named chair of the education department at Silver Lake College, Manitowoc in 1971, after receiving a master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Wisconsin. Later, she earned a Ph.D. in education from St. Louis University. For three years, she ministered as assistant director of research and assistant to the president at the College of Notre Dame, Baltimore. Sister Elissa moved to La Crosse where she ministered at Viterbo College, becoming the first director of Viterbo’s graduate education program. She served the FSPA community as Eastern Region secretary before working at Pilgrims El Sanctuario de Chimayo in New Mexico. From 1991-1995 Sister Elissa served as director of religious education at St. Leo Parish, West Salem and pastoral associate at St. Mary’s, Bangor, Wis. She returned to Viterbo College where she served as coordinator of the Research Projects in the Advanced Program and taught Spirituality in the Workplace. Sister Elissa retired to St. Rose Convent in 2004 and moved to Villa St. Joseph in 2007 due to failing health.

Community members, family and friends remember Sister Elissa as a dedicated teacher. She exhibited incredible patience and tact in working with students. “Students spoke about how the way they looked at their lives changed as a result of taking a class with her,” a Viterbo faculty member said. She was listed in the Who’s Who among America’s Teachers twice and an endowed scholarship was established in her honor in 2006 at Viterbo University. When not involved in the field of formal education, Sister Elissa continued using her skill as an educator as a DRE and pastoral associate.

Growing up in Hawaii, Sister Elissa had a keen love for flowers, song and dance. She would occasionally share memories of the infamous Pearl Harbor Day and its devastating effect on the people and land she loved.

Sister Elissa is survived by her Franciscan community; five brothers: Mr. and Mrs. Donald Kamaka, Honolulu, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Kamaka, Daly City, California, Mr. and Mrs. Philip Kamaka, Henderson, Nevada, Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Kamaka, Pearl City, Hawaii, and Edmund Kamaka, Tucson; five sisters: Katherine (James) Swannie, Venice, Florida, Gwendolyn Achui, Santa Maria, California, Pat Igawa and Caroline Victorino, Honolulu, and Charlotte Hoach, Mesa, Arizona; and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Anna and brother Walter.

Friends may call after 3:15 p.m., Wednesday, June 18, at St. Rose Convent. A prayer service will be held Wednesday, June 18, at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Sister Elissa in Mary of the Angels Chapel on Thursday, June 19, at 10 a.m. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, La Crosse.

Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601-4782 or by using the online form.

Sister Mary Avila Wittig

Sister Mary Avila Wittig, FSPASister Mary Avila Wittig, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 95, died Saturday, April 26, 2014. She was in the 73rd year of her religious profession.

Sister Mary Avila, the second oldest of 13 children of Ignatz and Julia (Kainz) Wittig, was born on May 16, 1918, (her parents’ wedding anniversary) in Durand, Wis. At her baptism she was given the name Margaret Mary. She attended Sacred Heart School, Lima, through her junior year in high school. After God, the FSPA, who were her teachers, were her greatest inspiration. She asked to have them mentioned in her obituary: Sisters Kathleen, Arsenia, Rosaria, Agnita, Joan, Rosita, Anna, Alphonsine, Jeremiah and Isaiah. Margaret enjoyed learning; it was a sacrifice when she was asked to stay at home to help her mother rather than complete high school. When her sister Marie had graduated, she took Margaret’s place caring for the home and children, enabling Margaret to finish school. Margaret obtained a job at Sacred Heart Hospital, Eau Claire, where her older sister was employed. She had a deep desire to join the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration at St. Rose Convent. When she had earned money enough for her dowry to St. Rose, Margaret returned home. Suddenly she experienced doubt and turmoil. The appointed day for her entrance came and went. She talked with one of the sisters at the school. On Aug. 20, 1938, as she traveled to La Crosse, Margaret was still filled with indecision. Once she was dressed in her aspirant’s uniform, however, the struggle ended.

Margaret was received into the novitiate on Aug. 12, 1939, and was given the name Sister Mary Avila. She pronounced first vows on Aug. 12, 1941, and made final profession on Aug. 9, 1947.

Entering the field of education, Sister Mary Avila ministered as a teacher for 42 years in schools in Iowa, Mississippi and Wisconsin including eight years at St. James and St. John’s, La Crosse, seven years as principal at Holy Rosary, Lima, and six years each at St. Mary’s Ridge and Festina, Iowa. From 1985-1992 she worked for social services in caring for children at Casa de Esperanza, Houston, Texas. Sister Mary Avila retired to St. Rose Convent in 1992 and to Villa St. Joseph in 2013.

Community members, family and friends remember her as a deeply spiritual, prayerful woman. She was a staunch defender of the unborn and a great advocate of the missions. For years, Sister Mary Avila made rosaries and collected holy cards and prayer books to send to the missions. While she was at St. Rose Convent, one could find boxes of needles, buttons and thimbles always in perfect order. She loved St. Rose Convent and attended every event she could at the motherhouse. Those who lived and prayed with her found her to be kind, courteous and very appreciative of the community and anything anyone did for her.

Sister Mary Avila is survived by her Franciscan community; four sisters: Marie Wittig, Durand; Helen Stilson, Condon; Ore., Edna Fischer, Bayport, Minn.; Gertrude (Kenneth) Holmstadt, Plum City; two brothers: James and Louis Wittig, both of Durand, and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Joseph, Anthony, Alfred and Edward, and her sisters Anna and Theresa.

Friends may call after 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, May 1, 2014, when her body will be brought to St. Rose Convent, La Crosse. A prayer service will be held at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel that evening. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, May 2, at 10 a.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, La Crosse.

Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin, 54601-4782 or by using the online donation form.

Sister Dorothy (Ann Patrick) Sweeney, FSPA

Sister Dorothy Sweeney, FSPASister Dorothy Sweeney, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 92, died Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse. She was in the 53rd year of her religious profession.

Sister Dorothy Elizabeth was born on Nov. 27, 1921, to Francis James and Angelina Johanna (Donovan) Sweeney in Sutherland, Iowa. Dorothy attended a little country school in Sutherland. As a little girl, she would follow her father around the farm and eventually learned how to milk cows and do other chores. The family would gather around the piano in the evenings with her mother playing and the girls singing. On Christmas day of 1929 her father fell from the windmill and died.

Dorothy's contact with sisters was at summer catechism classes. She thought of becoming a sister, but the idea would soon vanish. Dorothy was not interested in going to high school because learning was not easy for her. Her mother, however, convinced her to go. With high school completed, Dorothy applied to two Catholic hospitals for nurses’ training. She was not accepted, so worked for a year in a home caring for two motherless children. She applied to Willows Maternity Hospital in Kansas City, was accepted, and worked there for three years. Then she was invited to work at her hometown hospital where she served for 11 years. Dorothy was happy about being close to home for her mother had remarried and her step-father had died two years later. As she attended Sunday Mass each week, she was reminded of a religious vocation, for the parishioners always prayed for vocations. Again she put the thought off and went to Queen of the World Hospital, Kansas City, where she received training to be a licensed practical nurse and earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing. After that, she applied to enter the Benedictine Sisters in Madison. She was accepted and planned to enter, but the entrance date was on the same day as the nursing exams. Then she received a notice that she was refused entrance. She was deeply disappointed but pursued her dream and entered St. Rose Convent on Sept. 20, 1958.

Dorothy was received into the novitiate on Aug. 12, 1959, and was given the name Sister Ann Patrick. (Later she returned to her baptismal name.) She made profession of vows on Aug. 12, 1961, and final vows on Aug. 9, 1966.

Having been a licensed practical nurse before she entered, Sister Dorothy continued nursing for 14 years in Wisconsin at Sparta, Hillsboro, Villa St. Joseph and St. Francis Hospital, La Crosse. Sister Dorothy ministered in El Salvador for two years as a nurse. She returned to the States to serve as a nurse at St. Anthony Hospital, Carroll, Iowa, two years before earning certification in pastoral care. She was chaplain at St. Anthony’s from 1977 to 1990. Sister Dorothy returned to St. Rose Convent, providing pastoral care for the sisters for several years both before and after her retirement in 1998. She made the Villa her home in 2005.

Her community members, family and friends remember Sister Dorothy as a kind-hearted, happy, generous woman who loved life. The sparkle in her Irish eyes always lit up a room. Sister Dorothy loved everybody and affirmed everyone. She was willing to assist a sister in whatever way was needed, be that with some medical or pastoral concern. Many have said of her that she was a great listener, who empowered those she served. The gift shop had a hard time keeping her colorful, crocheted dishcloths in stock.

Sister Dorothy is survived by her Franciscan community, her sister Florence Ihry, Royal, Iowa, and nieces and nephews. Her parents, her brother Paul and her sisters Marjorie, Catherine and Frances preceded her in death.

Friends may call after 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27, when her body will be brought to St. Rose Convent. A prayer service will be held at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel. Rev. Richard Tulko, OFM, convent chaplain, will preside at the Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 28, in Mary of the Angels Chapel. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, La Crosse.

Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, WI 54601-4782 or by using the online donation form.

 


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