Sister Joan (Alexander) Stoffel, OSF, died on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, at Clare House, at Mount St. Francis Center.
Joan was born on June 29, 1933, the second daughter of Alex and Mary (Neubrand) Stoffel. The family of four girls and two boys lived on a farm near LeMars, IA, Joan attended grade school at St. Joseph, LeMars and St. Catherine, Oyens. From her first day of school she knew that she wanted to be a Sister and teacher. She attended high school at St. Mary, Remsen. Following graduation, she entered Mount St. Francis, joining the Franciscan sisters who had taught her at Oyens and Remsen. Her autobiography lists eight sisters she considered her favorites.
At her reception August 12, 1952, she was given the name, Sister Mary Alexander, after her father. Following her profession on August 10, 1954, she was assigned to Sacred Heart, Dubuque as a music teacher and a part-time classroom teacher. Sister also taught elementary school in Ionia, Meyer, and Webster City before she received a B.A. from Briar Cliff College, with a major in English and a minor in music education. In 1972, she completed a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Loras College. She became a principal/teacher at St. Joseph, Garnavillo, St. Athanasius, Jesup, St. Benedict, Wesley, Arcadia-Vail, and St. John Brefeuf, Niles, Illinois.
Joan taught in the Education Department at Briar Cliff College and then completed a Master’s Degree in Computer Applications in Education at Clarke College. In 1986 she enrolled in the University of Minnesota to study curriculum systems. She then taught at St. Mary’s College in Winona, Minnesota for four years. From 1993-2004 she served in the Sioux City diocesan Office of Education as Curriculum Director and Superintendent of Schools.
In semi-retirement, she was an adjunct instructor in developmental courses at Briar Cliff College. During that time she was also a volunteer organist at Holy Spirit Nursing Home and St. Boniface Church. Declining health forced her to retire to Mount St. Francis in 2006 where she used her computer skills to assist sisters in the computer lab. She moved to Clare House in 2014. Even while facing many health challenges, her up-beat spirit prevailed.
Sister is survived by her sisters: Mary (Richard) Roder and Margaret (George) Landgraf; her brothers: Earl (Lucy) Stoffel and Robert (Sharon) Stoffel; nieces and nephews, and her Franciscan sisters with whom she shared over 66 years of her life.
Sister was preceded in death by her parents; her sister Lois Stoffel; and her brother-in-law Lloyd Roeder.