Sister Marie Hilgers, age 103, passed away on Saturday, December 29, 2012, at the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother retirement home, Franciscan Courts, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Sister Marie was born on the home farm in Line Township, Blue Earth
County, to Albert Hilgers and Frances Albert Hilgers in November 7, 1909. The farm was homesteaded by her great grandfather, Nicholas Hilgers, and known as the "Hilgers Half-way House" as it was half way between Marysburg and Mankato and was a stop-over for travelers, especially those on horseback.
Marie attended her first years of schooling at District #48, known as Sugar Grove Country School. She continued her schooling at S.S. Peter's and Paul's school in Mankato. She helped on the family farm along with her brothers.
She joined the religious community of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother on October 18, 1939, in Milwaukee, WI, and professed her First Vows on August 12, 1942, and her Final Vows on August 12, 1947. She celebrated her Silver Jubilee on August 19, 1967, her Golden Jubilee on August 20, 1989, her 60th Jubilee on October 17, 1999, and her 70th Jubilee on August 12, 2012.
Sister Marie took nurses training at Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in Oshkosh, WI, in 1942-1945. In 1951 she obtained a B.S. Degree in Nursing at Marquette University in Milwaukee. She served Mercy Hospital in Oshkosh.
When the new St. Joseph's Hospital building in Mankato was completed, Sister Marie was asked to set up the pharmacy department in 1953.
In 1983 Sister Marie retired from her employment at then Immanuel-St. Joseph Hospital but continued to volunteer and played organ for Chapel services. She spent her retirement years at the Mother of Sorrows Convent in Milwaukee, WI. When the Sisters' retirement home in Oshkosh was completed in 1989, she moved there and resided there the rest of her life.
On her 100th birthday she received the Apostalic Blessing from Pope Benedict XVI. She was highly regarded by her peers, kindly, good friend, prayful and had a "dry" sense of humor. Sister Marie was an avid VIKING fan and in honor of 103rd birthday she received an autographed cap and plaque from some of the players. She displayed a Viking blanket on game days. A Viking fan in Packerland!
Homecoming for Sister Marie was held at Franciscan Courts Chapel on January 1, 2013, at 4:00 pm. The Mass of Resurrection was Wednesday January 2, 2013, at 10:00 am. The Rev. William Kuhr was the celebrant. Burial was January 3, 2013, in Riverside Catholic Cemetery in Oshkosh at 11:00am.
Sister Marie is survived by many nieces and nephews and the Sisters in Community. She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers: Roman, Paul, and Edmund, and sisters: Helen Ulmen and Marcella Schons, a niece, and five nephews.
Any memorials may be sent to the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mothers, 815 Westhaven Dr., Oshkosh, WI 54904, or donor's choice.
Fiss & Bills-Poklasny Funeral Home assisted.