Sister Stella Kelz, 1911-1996
Born October 8, 1911, Union, New Jersey
Entered St. Walburg Monastery, September 8, 1927
First Profession February 10, 1930
Died November 16, 1996
Sr. Stella was the second of four children,, two boys and two girls. In her early children her family moved to Brooklyn, New York; she carried traces of that accent all her life. Through the influence of a priest friend of her mother, Sr. Stella came to Villa Madonna Academy for her education and entered St. Walburg Monastery just one month before her sixteenth birthday.
From the late 1920’s until 1940 Sr. Stella taught various grade levels in Northern Kentucky schools staffed by the Benedictine Sisters.
In 1943 Sr. Stella transferred into nursing, receiving her R.N. from Good Samaritan School of Nursing. From 1943 to 1975 she cared for the sick in Florence and LaJunta, Colorado, and Hazard and Irvine, Kentucky. After training at Bethesda Hospital Pastoral Care Unit, she served as chaplain at St. Joseph Hospital in Florence, Colorado and in pastoral services at Madonna Manor.
One of Sr. Stella’s great heartaches was the loss of her mother who died on the train en route to Cincinnati from New York to attend Sr. Stella’s graduation from nursing school.
It was difficult for Sr. Stella to leave St. Joseph Hospital in Florence, Colorado and return to St. Walburg Monastery. She was a quiet person and tended to keep to herself. She was a person of order and routine. Quiet and of a diminutive stature, she drew little attention to herself but provided us with wonderful moments of spontaneity and soft laughs. She always retained her sensitivity, spunk and wit.