S. Elmera Keiser OSB, 96, died on Thursday, March 24, 2016. A wake service will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, March 28, and the Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, March 29, at 10:00 a.m., both in Bishop Marty Memorial Chapel in Yankton, South Dakota. Burial will be in the monastery cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Yankton.
Theresa Mary Keiser was born August 24, 1919, on a farm near Constance, Nebraska, the sixth of eight children to Stephen and Mary (Lange) Keiser. She attended the parish school, Fordyce Public School and Holy Trinity High School in Hartington, Nebraska. After a Normal Training course, she taught in rural schools in Cedar County for eight years. Her summers were spent taking classes at Wayne State Teacher's College.
Theresa entered Sacred Heart Monastery on November 20, 1945. She was invested as a novice on June 23, 1946 and received the name Elmera. She made her first profession on June 24, 1947 and final profession on June 24, 1950. S. Elmera served as an elementary teacher at Webster, Yankton, Epiphany, Farmer, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Wynot, Lincoln, Omaha, St. Paul, and Hartington, Nebraska; Fort Yates, North Dakota; and Pueblo, Colorado. She received a degree in Elementary Education from Mount Marty College in 1962 after many years of summer classes. Later, she earned a Master's degree from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. After years of being a classroom instructor and teaching music, she developed a profound interest in helping children with learning disabilities. She became a reading specialist and taught children through the Title I Program. S. Elmera also volunteered to teach religion in the parish religious education program, and helped with the parish liturgies and adult choir. After fifty-five years of teaching, she retired to the monastery in 1994. She then volunteered at Avera Sacred Heart Hospital and gave piano lessons. S. Elmera was a tireless educator who loved music and students in need. She was devoted to her family, always very interested in the life events of family and friends. She loved to travel, enjoyed baking, making greeting cards, and crocheting.
S. Elmera is survived by her Benedictine community and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and her siblings, Pauline Kohles, Hilda Maly, Edward, Laurentia Bonertz, Raymond and two infant brothers.
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You have our deepest sympathy in the loss of Sister Elmira. She was my 2nd grade school teacher and was such a comfort when he had lightning strike our school.I was very frightened. May God bless you with the sttength to deal with the grief;.
Cyril and Laverta Mauch
TO S. ROSE, ALL HER BENEDICTINE FAMILY, AND NIECES AND NEPHEWS. I BELIEVE THIS WOULD BE A TIME TO GET TOGTHER TO CELEBRATE A LONG AND BLESSED LIFE.
Deepest sympathy to Benedictine Family and Nieces and nephews of Sister Elmera. Rest in God's arms S. Elmera.
Marianne Guenther, daughter of Ethel (Lange) Guenther
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