In Memoriam: Sister Mildred Lustig, OSB

imlustigmSister Mildred (Esther Elizabeth Henrietta) Lustig, 91, died at the Monastery of St. Gertrude, Cottonwood, on May 30, 2005. The fourth of 11 children, she was born July 11, 1913, to Victor George and Mary Elizabeth Jansen Lustig of Greencreek, ID.

Sr. Mildred entered St. Gertrude’s in 1931 and made profession as a Benedictine Sister in 1933. She spent the next 20 years teaching primary grades throughout Washington and Idaho: St. Gertrude’s Academy and St. Joseph’s, Cottonwood; St. Mary’s, Chewelah; St Maries Academy, St. Maries; Guardian Angel, Colton; St. Joseph’s, Genesee; St. Anthony’s, Nezperce; St. Paul’s, Nampa; and in the public schools in Genesee, Ferdinand, Greencreek and Keuterville.

In 1953, Sr. Mildred moved into the medical records profession after recovering from ovarian cancer. She helped organize the records at St. Benedicts in Jerome, ID, then moved on to the medical records department at St. Mary’s Hospital in Cottonwood. Sr. Mildred was one of the initial founders of the Idaho Medical Record Association (now the Idaho Health Information Management Association). She served as its vice president (1964-66), director (1967, 1970, 1972-73), and the editor of its professional journal, Mountain Echoes (1966, 1969), which is still published today.

After her retirement in 1979, she spent the next 20 years ministering as companion, cook and nurse for a number of families throughout Idaho, including her own sister Zita Schmidt of Cottonwood.

Playful, daring, precise, intelligent, tenacious, prayerful, idealistic and sometimes impractical, assertive, refined, charming and self-giving are words that flow easily as her family, friends and co-workers remember Sister Mildred. Above all she wanted to live as fully as she could and have her life count toward the betterment of the world every single day.

She was preceded in death by her brothers John, Father Victor, and Lambert; and her sisters Zita (Lawrence) Schmidt, Louise (Edgar) Welch, Bernadine, and Loretta (George) Reese. She is survived by her monastic community, her sisters Agnes (Joseph A.) Schmidt, Dolores (James W.) Seubert, and Rita (Maurice) Wimer and numerous nieces and nephews and their families.

A Vigil Service was held in the Monastery chapel on June 1st at 7:30 pm. The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on June 2nd at 2:00 pm in the chapel with Rev. Meinrad Schallberger, OSB, Monastery Chaplain, presiding and Sister Jean Lalande, OSB, Prioress, giving the Reflections.