Sister Luella Schaefer

Obituary
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Colorado Springs, CO: Sister Luella Schaefer OSF, 96, died peacefully in the presence of her praying religious community at Mount Saint Francis Nursing Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado, on May 22nd, 2013. She served 79 years as a Sister of Saint Francis of Perpetual Adoration. She (Gertrude Mary Schaefer) was born to William J. and Rose (Widhalm) Schaefer on October 9, 1916, in Lindsay, Nebraska. After graduating from Saint Bernard Elementary School, Gertrude wished to further her education and also desired to become a Franciscan Sister. The Franciscans at Saint Bernard's suggested that she attend a girls' boarding school staffed by their community in Lafayette, Indiana. In 1934, at the beginning of her junior year of high school, Gertrude joined the Franciscan Order and became Sister Luella OSF. She earned a BA from St. Francis College, Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1947; an MS in Education from Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, in 1953; and a PhD in Education from St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri, in 1962. Between 1934 and 1953, Sister Luella taught in various schools staffed by her Franciscan congregation in Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico and Colorado. She served as Chair of the Department of Education at the College of St. Joseph on the Rio Grande, Albuquerque, New Mexico, from 1953-57 and 1962-65. She held administrative positions in her community at Mount Saint Francis, Colorado Springs, Colorado, from 1965 to 1980. She then moved to Denver, Colorado, where she served in various administrative roles at The Gardens of Saint Elizabeth Senior Living Community from 1980 to 2005. In 2005, Sister Luella retired to her community home, Mount Saint Francis, and moved to Mount St. Francis Nursing Center in 2008. She will be lovingly remembered for her gentle spirit, her deeply prayerful life, her thoughtfulness, sensitivity, and caring nature. Sr. Luella was preceded in death by her parents, her sisters, Ann Smith, Luella Brech, and brothers, Francis, Victor, and Gerald Schaefer. She is survived by many nieces and nephews and by her cousin, Sister Ethel Widhalm OSF. The rosary will be prayed for Sister Luella at 2:30 PM on Monday, May 27th, with a Vespers and Wake Service to be held at 5:15 PM in Canticle Chapel at Mount Saint Francis. The Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated on Tuesday, May 28th, at 10:30 AM in Canticle Chapel, followed by burial in the Mount Saint Francis Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Sisters of Saint Francis, 7665 Assisi Heights, Colorado Springs, CO 80919.

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Published in The Gazette on May 27, 2013
Luella Schaefer,
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