Sister Geraldine ‘Gerrie’ Kokenge — on her 70th Jubilee

December 15, 2016 by

PARENTS: Lawrence and Frances Kokenge
HOMETOWN: Seneca, Kan.
RELIGIOUS NAME: Sister Justina

1948-1950 Cooking, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Salina
1951-1955 Cooking, St. Joseph Hospital, Concordia
1955-1958 Cooking, Marymount College, Salina
1960-1962 Cooking, Grand Island, Neb., convent
1964-1966 Cooking, St. Mary’s convent, Salina
1966-1969 Cooking, Motherhouse, Concordia
1969-1972 Cooking, St. Xavier Convent, Junction City, Kan.
1987-1991 Cooking, Sacred Heart High School, Salina
1991-2000 Cooking, Salina Public High School
2000 Retired to Medaille Center, Salina
2006-present Retired and living at the Nazareth Motherhouse

With assistance from Sister Carm Thibault

Sister Gerrie’s main ministry in the community has been in the kitchens of many missions and places. She has remarked “Every place I went I enjoyed!”

She recalls that as a young sister, Sister Maxine Lutgen was her mentor in the Motherhouse kitchen, teaching her how to cook and bake.

“We would make 30 or 40 loaves of bread! We would mix all together except the flour … making a ‘sponge’ and waiting for it to bubble. Then we added the flour as needed and formed balls of dough which would then rise in the pans til ready for the oven.”

Sister Geraldine’s talents in the kitchen as a cook and baker took her to several places in Salina, Kan.: St. John’s Hospital, Marymount College, St. Mary’s Convent and at Sacred Heart Cathedral and rectory.

She also served at St. Joseph Hospital in Concordia and in Grand Island, Neb., and the Kansas cities of Schoenchen, Oakley and Junction City.  

One of her last missions as a cook was at the Salina Public High School, where she became good friends of many of those working with her.

There the cooks had to follow strict guidelines. But at one time when she noticed the food was not being eaten, she asked if she could add a bit of sugar to the recipe as it brings out the flavor. It helped a lot!  

Sister Gerrie’s humor was always evident and enjoyed by all with whom she worked.

Throughout her ministry, she found joy in preparing wonderful meals!  

Besides cooking, Sister Gerrie always enjoyed artwork and painting small wooden pieces for others to enjoy.


One Response to “Sister Geraldine ‘Gerrie’ Kokenge — on her 70th Jubilee”

  1. Debbie Lord (Neice) on January 12th, 2017 1:29 pm

    Hi, Aunt Jerry this Debbie i am so proud of you i on your special & special year
    i know mom & Marlene are looking down from heaven. Are proud of you on
    your special day. Congratulation’s
    Love always

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