Sister Agnes Ann Holzapfel
Sister Agnes Ann Holzapfel, age 96, of Milwaukee, Wisc., formerly of Philip, S.D., died Thursday, August 30, 2012, at her residence in Milwaukee.
Sister Agnes Ann Holzapfel, SSSF, was born in Dusseldorf, Germany, on February 27, 1916, the daughter of William and Anna (Heimbach) Holzapfel. At the age of eight, Sister Agnes emigrated to the United States with her mother and younger sister Annaliese. They settled in Milwaukee for two years before moving to a small farm near Ottumwa, where Sister Agnes attended country school.
In 1932, at age 16, she entered the convent of the School Sisters of St. Francis in Milwaukee and was professed on August 12, 1942. After spending several years at the Motherhouse in Milwaukee, she was assigned as nuns’ housekeeper in Aurora, Illinois, in 1947.
From 1948 to 1952, she worked in St. Catherine’s Parish in Milwaukee before going to Beaver Dam, where she served as nuns’ housekeeper for the next five years at St. Wenceslaus, Fon du lac, and Okauchee, Wisc. In 1961, Sister returned to Milwaukee where she worked as linotype operator in the convent printing shop for five years. After spending one year in the convent sanitarium recovering from tuberculosis, she was assigned as nuns’ housekeeper in Kenosha for two years.
In 1969, she was permitted to return to Philip to take care of her elderly mother, who was blind. During this time she also helped teach CCD classes in Sacred Heart Parish, and did light housekeeping for the pastor and the local doctor.
After her mother’s death in 1976, Sister Agnes remained at Sacred Heart Parish in Philip as parish worker and housekeeper for Father Reuben Valades, who she later accompanied to Presho, Gregory and New Underwood.
In 1997, Sister Agnes retired and returned to her religious community at Marian Hall in Milwaukee, Wisc., having served in parishes of the West River Diocese for more than 28 years.
Survivors include one sister, Lena Welling of Great Falls, Mont.; several nieces and nephews; the School Sisters of St. Francis with whom she shared life for 78 years; and a special pastor and friend, Father Reuben Valades of Rapid City.
Sister Agnes was preceded in death by her parents; one sister, Annaliese Schilling and her husband, Lawrence; a half-sister, Mary Ann Bentley; a stepsister, Avis Gillaspie; and her aunt, Sister Corbinella Heimbach.
Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 6, at St. Joseph’s Convent in Milwaukee.
Graveside services will be held 1:30 p.m. Saturday, September 8, at the Masonic Cemetery in Philip, with Father Kevin Achbach presiding.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to the School Sisters of St. Francis Development Office, 1501 S. Layton Blvd, Milwaukee, WI, 53215 of www.SSSF.org/Development
Local arrangements are with the Rush Funeral Home of Philip.