Sister Annita Schirmer, 1926-2014

Born October 12, 1926 in Warsaw, Kentucky
Entered St. Walburg Monastery September 8, 1944
Received habit, June 27, 1945
First Profession, July 1, 1946
Died December 20, 2014

      Sister Annita Schirmer was born to Samuel and Anna Klaren Schirmer on October 12, 1926 and named Mary Ellen when she was baptized at St. Joseph Church in Warsaw, KY. Both parents were natives of Warsaw. In her early years Anna attended Villa Madonna Academy from 1911 to 1918 as a boarding student.
Mary Ellen was the oldest of five children—two girls and three boys. Mary Ellen became a prep at Villa Madonna under the direction of Sr. Vincentia Dolan and graduated in 1944. That same year she entered St. Walburg Monastery as a postulant. The following year Mary Ellen became a novice, receiving the name Sister Annita. First and perpetual profession followed in 1946 and 1949. She celebrated silver, golden and diamond jubilees in1971, 1996 and 2006.
Sr. Annita studied for one year at Villa Madonna College. She attended St. Mary’s School of Nursing in Duluth, MN from 1947 to 1950, completing her training as a registered nurse. From 1950 to 1965, Sr. Annita served at Santa Fe Hospital in Colorado, Estill County Hospital in Irvine, KY and in the monastery infirmary. In 1965 Sr. Annita and three other sisters traveled to Pomata, Peru to serve the Aymara Indians. Sr. Annita returned to the United States in 1968 and served the elderly at St. Joseph Manor in Florence, CO. From 1972 to 1983 she worked again at Estill County Hospital, and then returned to work in the monastery infirmary. Lesser responsibilities marked her semi-retirement in 2005. She moved to the infirmary as a resident in 2009.
During her active years Sr. Annita attended numerous workshops and courses in health care and spirituality to help in her work and Benedictine life. Sr. Annita’s physical condition deteriorated over these last years. She traveled in her wheelchair, read profusely, participated in the exercise group and community activities. Death came suddenly on Saturday, December 20.
Surviving Sr. Annita are her sister and brother-in-law, Margaret and Ed Coomer, her brother Bob, nieces and nephews friends, and the Benedictine community. Her brothers Sam and Billy preceded her in death.