THE SISTERS OF ST. FRANCIS OF THE HOLY FAMILY
Mount St. Francis, Dubuque, Iowa
commend to your charity the soul of their beloved
SISTER ANCILLA KIELER
who was born March 25, 1912, and
who departed this life December 17, 2013,
in the 78th year of her religious life.
Visitation: Thursday, December 19, 2013 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.; wake service at 7 p.m.
Mass of Christian Burial: Friday, December 20, 2013 at 1 p.m.
Presider: Fr. Friedell
May she rest in peace!
The fifth of the eight children of John and Frances Brandt Kieler was born at home in Dubuque and baptized Viola. (The eighth child, a boy, died shortly after birth.) She attended Holy Trinity School through eighth grade, then transferred to Immaculate Conception Academy. When her mother became sick two years later Viola and her older sister took over the care of the household. After their mother's recovery, Viola worked at the neighborhood grocery store.
One year Sr. Constance Herbers at Holy Trinity invited Viola to attend the Reception ceremony at Mount St. Francis. This experience helped her to realize her own vocation, and she entered Mount St. Francis October 6, 1935. She was received August 12, 1936 with the name Sr. Ancilla. She expected to be assigned as a homemaker – she liked to cook and had excellent sewing skills from her mother – but instead it was decided she should finish high school, and continue the music lessons she dropped after leaving Immaculate Conception Academy.
Sister Ancilla taught music in Iowa at Dubuque/Holy Ghost, Waterloo/St. Mary, Fillmore, Worthington, Ossian, Remsen, Granville, Stacyville and Luxemburg, and at Crescent City, California.
In her 52 years of ministry Sr Ancilla taught all grades from kindergarten through high school; in addition to classroom teaching she taught private lessons in piano, organ, violin and guitar; she directed choirs large and small and produced cantatas. She took a correspondence course in Chant in order to earn the Catholic Choirmaster's Certificate.
Sister wrote that she enjoyed each of her assignments, making note of the beauty of oceanside Crescent City. She had a number of special memories of her years in ministry, including directing the high school choir at St. Mary, Waterloo during the 1942 Memorial Mass for the five Sullivan brothers; watching her 11-year old student play organ for the parish mass, and producing Christmas cantatas in cooperation with classroom or drama teachers.
She retired to Mount St. Francis in 1992 and moved to Holy Family Hall in 2006. Having her niece Sr. Eleanor Lambert, close by was one of the benefits of being in Dubuque. Needlepoint, music, euchre, and watching horse racing were favorite pastimes for Sr. Ancilla. Attending Mass was a treasured time for her. She prayed every night for persons who were unjustly imprisoned.
Sister Ancilla's long life of faithfulness to her God and his people has been completed. This lover of Christmas cantatas experienced 101 Christmases on earth. This year, she will truly be Home for Christmas.
Sister is survived by her sister-in-law: Marion, her nieces, nephews, and her Franciscan sisters with whom she shared 77 years of her life
Sister was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers: Lillard (Hazel); Ralph (Teresa); Irvin; Carl (Patricia); and her sisters: Flora (Frank) Lambert and Mae (Arlington) Rice