Sister Frances Elizabeth Schmitz, OSF, of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis died on Jan. 19 at St. Francis Convent in Springfield. She was 94 years old.
Sister Frances Elizabeth was born in Waterloo, Iowa on March 1, 1922, the daughter of Henry and Agnes Beck Schmitz. She entered the congregation on Feb. 2, 1945 and professed her religious vows on Oct. 4, 1947.
She graduated from LeClerc College in Belleville in 1949 with a bachelor’s degree in history. In 1953, she earned a bachelor’s in church music from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn. In 1961, she obtained a certificate as a medical records librarian from the College of St. Mary’s in Omaha, Neb. She received a post-graduate degree in theology from Aquinas Institute in St. Louis in 1979.
Sister Frances Elizabeth taught at St. Francis High School located in the motherhouse in Springfield; served as a missionary to the Navajos in Lukachukai, Ariz.; a medical records librarian in HSHS hospitals; hospital administrator at HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls, Wis.; and various leadership positions within the community, becoming provincial superior of the American Province in 1979. In 1982, she returned to HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls until 2005 when health concerns brought her back to the motherhouse.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by two brothers: Robert and Loren Schmitz, and two sisters: Mary Elaine Schmitz and Margaret M. Greiner.
She is survived by a sister, Clare Staebell, of Cedar Falls, Iowa, several nieces and nephews, several great-nieces and great-nephews, as well as her Franciscan Sisters with whom she shared her life. This year she would have celebrated her 70th Jubilee year in religious life.
A visitation and a wake service were held at the St. Francis Convent on Jan. 23. The Eucharistic Celebration and Rite of Christian Burial was celebrated by Father Dennis Koopman, OFM, on Jan. 24, in St. Clare of Assisi Adoration Chapel at St. Francis Convent. Burial was in Crucifixion Hill Cemetery.
Staab Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.