Congregation of St. Joseph Sister Viola Heichelbech died Sunday, July 1, at age 103.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Friday morning, July 6, in Resurrection Chapel, at Mt. St. Mary’s Convent, 3700 E. Lincoln in Wichita.
Sister Viola (Agatha Ann) Heichelbech, was born on March 8, 1915, in Wichita, the youngest of four children born to Thomas and Mary Scheidt Heichelbech.
Her education began at St. Anthony Elementary School, and continued at Cathedral High School in Wichita and St. Mary of the Plains Academy in Dodge City. She entered the Congregation of St. Joseph and was received March 19, 1931, with final profession of vows Aug. 15, 1936.
Her early ministries began as a domestic, keeping house for Sister teachers and caring for children at the orphanage in El Dorado. For a few years she also kept house for two bishops, one in Wichita and one in Dodge City.
Her education continued at Fontbonne College in St. Louis where she obtained certification as a dietitian and a Food Service Administrator. Then began many years of service in congregation hospitals in Parsons, Halstead, Winfield, Wichita, Pratt, Ulysses, and Dodge City in Kansas, and Ponca City, Oklahoma.
For two years, because of her mother’s advanced age and deteriorating health Sr. Viola cared for her mother who died just two months shy of her 104th birthday. She then cared for her sister for five years.
She was preceded in death by her parents and siblings. She is survived by her niece Viola Mode of Derby, nephew Melvin Butterfield, and a number of grandnieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions in her name may be made to Dear Neighbor Ministries, Inc. or to the Retirement Fund of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 3700 E. Lincoln, Wichita, KS 67218.