First agrégée, Sister Rosabel Flax, dies at age 64

March 6, 2014 by

web-2013-RosabelFlaxSister Rosabel Flax, the first woman to profess her vow as an Agrégée Sister of St. Joseph of Concordia, died March 5 in Abilene, Kan., after a short illness. She was 64.

Visitation will be from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 7, and 9 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 8, at Keithley Funeral Chapel, 400 E. 17th, Ellis, Kan. A rosary and parish vigil service will be at 6 p.m. Friday at the funeral chapel. Her funeral will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Ellis, Kan., with burial to follow in the church cemetery.

Rosabel was born Jan. 9, 1950, in Hays, Kan., to Lucille (Dreiling) and Fred Flax. She grew up on a farm north of Ellis and graduated from Ellis High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Marymount College and master’s at Fort Hays State University. She spent 41 years as an educator, teaching math and sciences classes in Marquette, St. Joseph’s-Shawnee, Herndon, Palco, Plainville, Lacrosse and Ness City. She was a principal in Plainville, Little River and Moundridge. She also taught at Colby Community College and Cloud County Community College and was a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

After she retired as a high school principal in Ness City in 2004, she said she “felt called,” but she didn’t really intend to pursue a religious life. In an interview in 2009, she said, laughing, “I was too old to become a sister.”

But then she learned about a new form of membership in the Sisters of St. Joseph, which was approved by the congregational Senate in 2006. She began two years of study and discernment, and in June 2008 professed her vow of fidelity as an Agrégée Sister.

She continued to live in Ness City, but was active with the Concordia congregation, serving on various committees and working with other women who also joined the sisters as agrégées.

She was also an active member of Sacred Heart Parish in Ness City and Sacred Heart Alter Society.

Survivors include her mother; her sister, Paula Dinkel and husband Allen; and nieces, Emily Gibson and husband Jason and their daughters, Delaney and Dakota, Wendy Dinkel and husband Ryan Conrade, and Macey Dinkel. She was preceded in death by her father.

Memorials are suggested to the Rosabel Flax Memorial Scholarship Fund in care of Keithley Funeral Chapel, 400 E. 17th, Ellis, Kan., 67637.


2 Responses to “First agrégée, Sister Rosabel Flax, dies at age 64”

  1. Jennifer Stull on March 26th, 2014 1:37 pm

    She will be missed. After she taught me in Plainville – I had the chance to reconnect with her as I worked for the Sisters. She was a wonderful teacher and person.

  2. Lakawthra Cox on March 7th, 2014 1:00 am

    I was only beginning to know Sister Rasabel Flax and I am deeply saddened by her passing, as I felt a special bond with her. May God be with her.

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