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Sister Marita Kollasch

Gratefulness of Heart

Sister Marita Kollasch, a quiet, gracious woman, the beloved daughter of John and Agatha Kollasch, was born on December 28, 1928, in Whittemore, Iowa. She entered the Sisters of the Presentation in August of 1950 and professed her final vows on June 8, 1956.

Sister Marita earned her teaching certificate after studying at Clarke College (now Clarke University), Loras College and Briar Cliff College. Her Presentation career, spanning 59 years, took her to Farley, Waukon, Lawler, Bankston, Algona, Dubuque and Key West, all in Iowa. Her ministries included elementary teacher, librarian and community prayer and service.

When Sister Marita retired in 1989 she volunteered her seamstress skills at Mount Loretto motherhouse. Some of her happiest years were sewing alongside her friend and mentor, Sister Helen Cunningham. In her ministry of community prayer and service, Sister also enjoyed calligraphy, rosary-making, music, art projects, knitting, crocheting and spending time with her cousins: Sisters Anne Marie Kollasch, Pierre Kollasch and René Laubenthal, all members of the Presentation community.

Attendance at Mass and community prayer as well as personal prayer were a priority for Sister Marita. When stopping by to visit her, one often found Sister at prayer. Sister Marita’s nieces and nephews recalled that while Sister was visiting them their mother would have quiet time for everyone while Sister had her prayer time. Her deep faith and reverence for her God made prayer a comfort and gift where she met her God with a grateful heart.

Sister Marita’s grateful heart showed itself in daily life. Gratitude came from her lips whenever one did anything for her. She would often say, “Thank you. You’re so good to me.” This spirit of gratitude was evident in the love she had for her family. She was so appreciative of their visits and the interest they had in her. Her weekly phone visits with her sister Marjorie were of special joy to Sister Marita. She was grateful for the love and care others gave to her and especially grateful for her vocation as a Presentation sister.

Over the years, Sister Marita enjoyed any number of arts and crafts. She made many beautiful cards using her painting and calligraphy skills. The past few years she was a member of Sister Marie Barth’s art class where she painted many beautiful pictures which her family members now treasure as mementos.

Not only did Sister like music but unbeknown to many, Sister Anne Marie relates that Sister Marita played the piano and at one of the Kollasch’s family dinners she entertained the group with a tap dance.

This woman with a bright smile and gentle spirit is survived by her sisters, Marjorie Rolfe and Norrine Coleman, nieces and nephews and the Sisters of the Presentation with whom she shared her life for 62 years. She trusted in God’s promise of resurrection; may she rest in peace.

If you would like to make a memorial gift in memory of Sister Marita, click here.

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