Sister Solano Breuer, OSF, died on November 29, 2016, in the 75th year of her religious life.
Coletta Magdalen Breuer was born at her family’s farm home in Glen Haven, Wisconsin on January 14, 1918. She was the second youngest of eight children of Arnold and Anna Mumm Breuer. Her elementary schooling was with the Notre Dame Sisters in Glen Haven. She boarded with a family in Tennyson, Wisconsin for the first two years of high school and completed her junior and senior years at the public school in Bloomington, Wisconsin.
After several years of helping in her parental home and at the homes of some of her married brothers and sisters, she pursued the call to religious life. By this time she and her parents had moved to the town of Glen Haven. In her autobiography she mentions that she believed that reading the many Catholic magazines and the Butler’s Lives of the Saints found in her home, had influenced her vocation. Having a cousin, Sister Rose Zimmer, in the Franciscan community living in Dubuque, was one of the determining factors as to where to enter.
Coletta entered Mount St. Francis on September 6, 1941 and a year later, on August 12, 1942 was given the name Sister Mary Solano. After the novitiate years she began 19 years of general housework at Mary of the Angels in Dubuque followed by 35 years at St. Francis Home and Stonehill Franciscan Services, where over the years she was a nurse aide, a dietary aide, housekeeper, and floor coordinator. Nothing was too menial for her to do. In fact it was said that Sister would seek out the most confused residents and with infinite patience help them with their personal needs.
Sister Solano, yours was a pretty hidden life to most of us, but there is no doubt that this was not true for the Sisters and residents with whom you lived and worked. They experienced the dedication, sacrifice and humility with which you lived. May you now enjoy the wonders your God has prepared for you.
Sister is survived by her sister, Anne Wagner, her sisters-in-law Agatha Breuer, and Dorothy Breuer, her nieces and nephews, and her Franciscan sisters with whom she shared 74 years of her life.
Sister was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Leo (Laura) Breuer, Roland (Agnes; Leotha) Breuer, Alphonse (Esther) Breuer, Fred Breuer, Leonard Breuer, a sister Pauline (Ray) Crubel and brother-in-law Anthony Wagner.