DONALDSON, IND. — Sister Agatha Niebrugge (Zita Therese), PHJC, passed away on Oct. 4 at the Catherine Kasper Home in Donaldson, Ind.
Sister Agatha was born in Effingham on Aug. 11, 1928 to Anthony and Anna (Aulenbrock) Niebrugge who preceded her in death along with her siblings Paul, Lawrence (Dorothy), Alphonse, Martha Muehlenfeld (Joe), Johanna Spracklin (Bernard), Ambrose (Dorothy), Father Herman, Dolores Bede (Stockman), Mary Ann, Anna Marie, Father Richard, and Bernard. Her brother Tony Niebrugge survives along with sister-in-laws Barbara, Dolores and Margaret Niebrugge. Sister Agatha noted in her biography, “Needless to say, Father and Mother had sufficient opportunities to practice parenting.”
Sister Agatha entered the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ community as a postulant on Sept. 2, 1946. She professed her first vows on June 25, 1949. Sister Agatha graduated from Alverno College in Milwaukee and Loyola University in Chicago. In addition, she pursued art training from the Washington School of Art.
Sister Agatha’s teaching career spanned 55 years. She taught at St. Monica School in Mishawaka, Ind. (1949-1953), St. John Orphanage in Belleville (1953-1958), St. Augustine High School in Chicago (1959-1976), and Mater Dei High School in Breese (1976-1987) from where she received the Distinguished Educator of the Year Award. In 1987 she moved on to Ancilla College in Donaldson, Ind., becoming a professor of sociology (1987-2005). The Ancilla College Board of Trustees awarded Sister Agatha the trustee emeritus status. Sister Agatha once said of teaching, “Teaching has been an excellent vehicle for bringing Christ to the world. Hopefully the ‘ripples’ outward continue from the values and truths imparted to the students thus enabling them to face their challenges and hopes.”
Sister Agatha officially retired to the Catherine Kasper Home in 2013. She continued her humble quiet ministry of listening as she reached out to many of the residents there.
A funeral Mass was held in the Ancilla Domini Chapel on Oct. 9 with burial following in the Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Donaldson, Ind.
Johnson-Danielson Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.