Sister Joseph Marie Klingenberg, 1930-2005

Born May 24, 1930, Covington, Kentucky
Entered St. Walburg Monastery, January 2, 1954
First Profession August 24, 1955
Perpetual Profession August 25, 1958
Died November 1, 2005

Sr. Joseph Marie Klingenberg was born Thelma Ann, the youngest of four children of Joseph and Freda Deye Klingenberg. Thelma was an alumna of Villa Madonna Academy and Villa Madonna College (Thomas More) when she entered St. Walburg Monastery. She received the name Sr. Joseph Marie on July 2, 1954.

Sr. Joseph Marie was a multitalented and skilled person. She came to the community with a degree and was an effective math and science teacher as well as an administrator. She taught math and science at St. Henry High School from 1955-59 and then at Villa Madonna Academy from 1959-63. From 1963-1973 she was principal and teacher at St. Henry, and from 1973-82 she served as Treasurer of St. Walburg Monastery, house coordinator and did other community tasks. In 1982 she became Executive Director at Villa Madonna Academy and served as High School Principal from 1983-1989. When she retired from Villa Madonna Academy, the Mothers’ club created the Sr. Joseph Marie Award to honor outstanding teachers at VMA.

On July 6, 1989 she suffered her first stroke and made a remarkable recovery. After this she began her career as assistant bookkeeper and then became the bookkeeper for the monastery, VMA Center and Villa Madonna Montessori School. She also performed many services on the property. She was a hard worker, dedicated, organized and loyal. She had a sense of humor and laughed freely.

On March 24, 2001 after surgery, Sr. Joseph Marie suffered a massive stroke which left her completely paralyzed on the right side but left her mind clear. For four and a half years Sr. Joseph Marie endured her infirmities. Only recently was she able to swallow enough to receive Communion.

After she celebrated her Golden Jubilee in July, she began to fail. Early on November 1 she took her final breath, and the community rejoiced that her patient suffering was over.