Eulogy for Sister Agnes Dreher: Sept. 28, 1912-March 4, 2011

March 7, 2011 by

March 6, 2011, at the Nazareth Motherhouse

Eulogist: Sister Christella Buser

Sister Agnes Dreher died March 4, 2011, at Mount Joseph Senior Village in Concordia.  She was 98 years old and a Sister of St. Joseph for 80 years.

She was born in Schoenchen, Kan., on Sept. 28, 1912, to John and Ann Elizabeth Beiker Dreher, the third of nine children, and was baptized Mary Agnes. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia on Sept. 18, 1929. On March 19, 1930, Agnes received the habit of the Sisters of St. Joseph and was given the name Sister Mary Olivia.  Later she changed back to her baptismal name Agnes. She pronounced first vows on March 19, 1932 and final vows on Aug. 15, 1935.

Sister Agnes was preceded in death by her parents, four brothers and three sisters.  She is survived by one brother, Melvin Dreher of Cedaredge, Colo., and numerous nephews, nieces, cousins and a host of friends.

A couple of years ago, Sister Agnes asked if I would give her eulogy when she died. I told her I would be honored. She stated, “I want it to be short.”

She pointed to a picture of the good shepherd on her bedroom wall and said, “This is my favorite picture.” Inserted in the picture frame was a holy card of Bishop Paul Coakley. She said, “He is our diocesan shepherd, he is kinda cute.”

Sister Agnes was an elementary teacher, housekeeper and nurse’s aide in Stafford Hall at the Motherhouse and Mount Joseph. Throughout her years of service she worked in institutions staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph  in the Kansas towns and cities of Plainville, Junction City, Abilene, St. Peter, Concordia, Tipton, Gorham, Aurora, Herington, Beloit, Pfeifer, Hays, Antonino, Russell and Salina, as well as St. George, Ill., Gladstone, Mich., Silver City, N.M., and Fairbury, Neb.  In 2004 she moved to the Motherhouse and in 2010 she moved to Mount Joseph.

Sister Agnes said, “My father was a big farmer and a good provider. My mother had a large garden and did a lot of canning and our cellar was filled with good food that she always shared. She was also a great seamstress and would help anyone make clothes.”

She talked about being thankful to God for the many graces and blessings he had bestowed on her in her 80 years as a Sister of St. Joseph. Also, how deeply grateful she was to all the sisters for their love, prayers and support. May God bless you all.

We weep with joy as we remember the fullness of Sister Agnes’ life, and we weep with even greater joy that she can proclaim Mary Magdelene’s words, “I have seen the Lord.”

What joy must be hers!

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