In Memoriam: Sister Scholastica Uhlenkott, OSB

imuhlenkottsSister Scholastica (Mary Susanne) Uhlenkott, 87, died peacefully at the Monastery of St. Gertrude, Cottonwood, ID, on August 7, 2007.

Born in Keuterville, ID, to Gerhard and Elizabeth (Hoene) Uhlenkott on December 15, 1919, she entered the Monastery of St. Gertrude in Cottonwood on January 10, 1940. She was professed there on June 11, 1941. She celebrated her Golden Jubilee in 1991.

Sister Scholastica earned a Bachelor’s degree from Holy Names College in 1949 and a Master’s degree from Gonzaga University in 1955.  In 1959, she became the first sister from St. Gertrude’s to receive her Doctorate, earning a Ph.D. in education from The Catholic University of America. She taught in the public and parochial schools in Idaho, including six years as principal of St. Gertrude’s Academy. In 1968, she was appointed by the State Board of Education to the Idaho State Advisory Council on elementary and secondary education, serving until 1979. She ministered as a counselor and teacher at St. Gertrude’s College and the Prairie Public Schools in Cottonwood. She retired to the monastery in 2001, where she continued to work in the sacristy and chapel.

In recognition of her lifelong work in education, Sister Scholastica received the 1999 Fall Conference Diocesan Ministry Award, which honored “her 56 years of gracious, generous and joyful service in education throughout the Diocese of Boise. She taught every grade level from first grade to college. She has been a high school and elementary school principal, a director of religious education, a remedial reading teacher, a counselor, a college registrar, a member of a government-funded reading program, and a member of a parish pastoral council.”

Sister Scholastica will be remembered as a woman of deep faith and prayer. Her devotion to teaching and quality education will live on in the minds and hearts of her students. She cared for others; she always wore a smile and had kind words for everyone in spite of her own hardships.  Her spirit of joy, sense of humor and gentle nature will be missed by her sisters in community, her family, caregivers and many friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Eberhard, Norbert and Larry and sister Regina (Raymond) Seubert. She is survived by her monastic community, her sisters Celeste (Irvin) Sullivan and Rosemary (Charles) Rodgers and numerous nieces and nephews and their families.

A vigil service was held in the monastery chapel on Sunday, August 12 at 7:00 pm. The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated there on August 13 at 1:30 pm.  Sister Scholastica’s nephew, Rev. Gary Uhlenkott, S.J., presided.