January 19, 1902 – April 23, 2001
Sister Gonzaga (Rosette) Letter, age 99, died of illness relating to age at the Monastery of St. Gertrude on April 23, 2001. She was born at Oberageri, Switzerland, on January 19, 1902, to Bonaventure and Marie Anna Besmer Letter.
At the age of 19, she set sail for America with Mother Hildegard Vogel and 22 other young women. She professed her vows as a Benedictine Sister on March 18, 1923. Her main ministry was teaching, first in elementary schools in Washington and Idaho. In 1926 her career as a high school teacher began at Greencreek public school; she later taught at St. Gertrude’s Academy, Cottonwood, for seventeen years.
Besides teaching typing and shorthand, she kept convent records, created works of art, especially with dried flowers, and calligraphy. She was also the Academy librarian for several years.
Sister Letter was preceded in death by five brothers and six sisters.
A Vigil Service was held for her in the Monastery Chapel at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, April 25, 2001. Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at 9:00 am on April 26, 2001. Services were conducted by Fr. Meinrad Schallberger, OSB.