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Elsa Bennett

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Elsa Bennett Obituary
Sister Elsa Mary Bennett, age 83, a Sister of Divine Providence, entered eternal life on February 19, 2014 in McCullough Hall Nursing Center in San Antonio, Texas. She was one of six children born to former Mayor of Muskegon, Thomas B. Bennett and Elsa Mary Koelbel Bennett. Sister Elsa Mary was born December 13, 1930, in Muskegon, Michigan. She answered God's call and entered the Our Lady of the Lake Convent on September 8, 1952. She made her first profession as a Sister of Divine Providence two years later at 23 years of age and was given the name Sister Mary Eloise. She made her final vows on June 22, 1960. Sister Elsa Mary earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and a Masters of Education in Guidance and Counseling from Our Lady of the Lake University. Her robust laughter, zest for life and solid presence were evident and helpful as an elementary and high school Physical Education teacher and OLLU athletic director. She taught from 1954-1974 and 1978-1986 in Catholic schools in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma and at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. Between 1974 and 1978 she returned to her home state of Michigan to care for her ailing mother. It was during this time that Sister Elsa Mary worked as a public school substitute teacher. Her most rewarding teaching experience was with the Special Education students. Later, she worked in Physical Therapy and Massage Therapy. It was her positive spirit and teamwork approach that made her a popular and effective swimming instructor for those who were terrified to swim. She successfully taught about 500 students with only 30 withdrawals and jokingly quipped "and none of them drowned". She also taught her fellow Sisters of Divine Providence self-defense. The practicing of the self-defense motions on each other produced many jokes and laughter amid an aura of serious concentration but that is what exemplified Sister Elsa Mary: fun-loving and serious. She is survived by her brother George Bennett and his wife Lois, sister-in-law, Betty Bennett, numerous nieces, nephews, and their families and all her other Sisters of Divine Providence. She was preceded in death by her parents Thomas Bennett and Mary Elsa Bennett, siblings Alice Moyle, Sarah Jane Bennett, Thomas Bennett and Robert Bennett. The Rosary is Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. and the Wake is at 6:30 p.m. A Mass of Resurrection will be Monday, February 24, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. All services will be in Annunciation Chapel at Our Lady of the Lake Convent Center. In lieu of flowers, you may wish to make a memorial contribution to the Sisters of Divine Providence, 515 S.W. 24th Street, San Antonio, TX 78207-4619. Arrangements by:

Published in Express-News on Feb. 22, 2014
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