Sister Joanita Wagner, 1897-1997
Born March 4, 1897, Osgood, Indiana
Entered St. Walburg Monastery, July 1, 1932
First Profession August 25, 1934
Died march 31, 1997
Sr. Joanita Wagner was born in Osgood, Indiana to John and Mary Burkhardt Wagner and given the name Ann Edna. The rural community of St. Joseph Parish in Osgood was close to Sr. Joanita’s heart her whole long. Her proficiency in Gregg shorthand and other clerical skills enabled her to find employment at Oskamp Jewelers and Diamond Life Bulletin, both located in Cincinnati. After some years in the business field, she entered St. Walburg Monastery in 1932.
Sr. Joanita served as a teacher at Blessed Sacrament School from 1935 to 1945 and again from 1972 to 1988; at St. Therese School from 1951 to 1968 and at St. Henry School from 1968 to 1972. During these years she also served as church sacristan.
Sr. Joanita moved to the monastery infirmary in 1988 when her legs refused to carry all the places she wished to go. Losing the ability to walk was for a great cross. When she broke a hip, professional advice indicated that walking would be impossible but Sr. Joanita continued to struggle, always feeling she would walk again.
Always an individual and her own person, Sr. Joanita;’s mind was clear and determined even to the day of her death. Her love of a good card game brightened many a day and just a week or so before her death, she played her last game, determined but unable to hold her cards steady.
After finally agreeing to a 100th birthday celebration at which she even allowed songs and balloons, she had a great time and enjoyed the focus of the community. She was not quite the same afterwards. For Sr. Joanita death came quickly, shortly after midnight of March 31, 1977, the Monday after Easter.