January 18, 1936 – May 11, 2013
“You will suffer in the world but take courage! I am with you always.” ~ Gospel of John
Sister Emagene Uhlenkott Warren, OSB was born into eternal life at the Monastery of St. Gertrude on May 11, 2013, at 1:15 p.m. Sister Emagene will be remembered as a committed community member, a wise businesswoman, as well as a loving and devoted mother and grandmother.
The firstborn of five children, Emagene was born January 18, 1936, in Craigmont, Idaho, and grew up in Clarkston, Washington in a devout, Catholic family. She enjoyed her career as a real estate broker and appraiser and joyfully raised her daughter, Terri. When Terri grew up and married, Emagene welcomed her grandchildren as the new “wonders of her life.”
In her late forties, she felt called to religious life and became a Benedictine sister of the Monastery of St. Gertrude in 1985. Monastery life allowed her to express her talent for playing the piano, particularly in a Monastery ensemble called “Thee Band.” She also returned to school and studied sociology and women’s studies at Gonzaga University. She worked in Spokane as a social service coordinator in Catholic Charities outreach centers for low-income elderly. She then returned to St. Gertrude’s, serving as house coordinator for twelve years and overseeing the business office for six. She also founded the Monastery’s volunteer program. Most recently, she lived in Lewiston in semi-retirement and conducted outreach ministry.
Sister Emagene was inspired by the Benedictine promise of obedience. She wrote: “St. Benedict’s definition of obedience deals more with listening well and attentively to what is being asked and then discerning, with prayer, the appropriate action. After delving into monastic life I understood that the Prioress and all the sisters would listen and discern with me. When this love is present, obedience is a way to live with a life directed toward wholeness and joy.”
Emagene lived “looking through the kaleidoscope” of her life. This image resonated for her as she considered the bright colors of her happy childhood, being a mother and then a grandma/great-grandma, and learning new history and forming new relationships in her ministries – and the dark colors of early struggles with finding her path, a divorce, the 2003 death of her daughter, and the deaths of her parents. “Together,” she said, “these form the colorful picture of my life.”
The Vigil Service was on Thursday, May 16 and the Mass of Christian Burial was on Friday, May 17, 2013, in the Monastery chapel.
Sister Emagene is preceded in death by her daughter, Terri Baker, and her parents, Claudine and Vince Uhlenkott. She is survived by her great-granddaughter Kayla Troumbley of Lewiston, grandchildren in Lewiston – Nicole Troumbley, Shawn Warren, and Eric Baker; her siblings Loren Uhlenkott of Alaska, Glen Uhlenkott and his wife Cyndie of Redmond, Washington, Lloyd Uhlenkott and wife Judy of Cottonwood, and Mary Uhlenkott Weeks and her husband Richard of Spokane; and the Benedictine sisters.
Memorial Gifts in Sister Emagene’s honor can be made to the Monastery.