S. Laeticia Kilzer OSB, 97, died on Saturday, September, 23, 2017. A wake service will be held at 7:00 PM, on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 and the Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, both in Bishop Marty Memorial Chapel in Yankton, South Dakota. There will be a gathering for family and friends at 6:30 PM, on Tuesday evening before the wake in the Monastery Chapter room. Burial will be in the monastery cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton.
Gertrude and her twin brother Edmund were born on June 7, 1920, the 13th and 14th children to Francis and Klara (Gion) Kilzer of Bentley, North Dakota. She went to a one-room country school near the family farm until the 8th grade. She and her siblings took turns going to high school at St. Mary's in Richardton, North Dakota during the Depression. She completed high school in three years and graduated in 1938, which was necessary so other siblings could go to school.
Gertrude entered Sacred Heart Monastery on August 29, 1938 and began college classes at Mount Marty College in Yankton. She was invested a novice on June 24, 1939 and received the name Laeticia. Her first profession was June 24, 1940, and her final profession was on June 24, 1943. Her first missions were teaching in Webster, South Dakota and Fort Yates, North Dakota from 1940 to 1945.
S. Laeticia attended the College of St. Benedict at St. Joseph, Minnesota and received her degree in Chemistry and Mathematics in 1950. She returned to teach in Polo, South Dakota and Richardton, North Dakota. In 1955, she obtained a Masters in Chemistry from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, and taught in Hartington, Nebraska and at Mount Marty High School, Yankton. She earned her PhD in chemistry from the University Of Notre Dame, Indiana in 1960, and began 33 years of teaching chemistry at Mount Marty College.
Throughout her teaching career, she earned numerous grants and research opportunities throughout the United States and in Bonn, West Germany. These included work at Michigan State, University of California at Berkley, and Notre Dame; and grants from the US Air Force and NASA in Langley, VA, Battelle Laboratories in Richland, WA, and work at the Institute for Ecological Chemistry in Bonn.
In her retirement, she tutored chemistry and took daily walks. S. Laeticia had a pleasant sense of humor and was a positive influence on her students making chemistry a valuable experience. She enjoyed doing jigsaw puzzles, sewing her own clothes which were often brightly colored, and traveling internationally. She was devoted to her family and enjoyed their company.
S. Laeticia is survived by her Benedictine community and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents and all her siblings including S. Philomene, OSB.
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Sister Laeticia had a tremendous impact on my life and my career. She was a friend and a mentor and I loved her dearly! Heaven is having way more fun today then ever before with her in it.
Christine (Lang) Pharr
I remember when I was a cook at the monastery and sister came into the kitchen and talk to me. She had a cooking question that she hoped that I could answer for her. She said basically " I don't know my way around a kitchen very well, but just put me in a lab, and I'm good". That is a fond memory for me.
Gary B Gates
Sr Laeticia made learning Chemistry fun. Incredible woman!
In the Fall of 1960, I began my sophomore year as a Med Tech major and Sister Laeticia, with her newly minted PhD in Chemistry, became our chemistry professor. She was an excellent teacher and a wonderful role model. It was an honor to be her student.
Mary Anne Post-Rhomberg MMC '63
We had the most fun when we went to Europe with Sr. Laeticia and Sr. Cynthia!! I'm still amazed at how they kept us together and didn't lose us - well they did once but they found us. She truly loved to teach students and worked hard to help them understand. Truly an Icon of MMC
Zita Hans MMC '86
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