Sister Gertrude Melus

Sister Gertrude Melus died on, March 29, 2024 and was buried on Apr 3, 2024 , at Saint Joseph Villa.

Sister Gertrude lived almost 68 of her 85 years as a Sister of Saint Joseph. As a sports lover, she once shared that her dream of becoming a “roller derby star” was great preparation for becoming a Sister of Saint Joseph. Her sense of humor never left despite all she
suffered over these last few years.

Gert always accepted and appreciated the humanity she found among her sisters. She knew God blessed her with patience–and that benefitted everyone who knew her. She found the changes in religious life were too slow for her, but in her later years valued that she was finally in the right place. She loved every minute of her years teaching–even when she was stretched to teach subjects for which she felt ill-prepared. She enjoyed telling stories about her time in the classroom and admitted that her favorite one was from her brief time teaching first grade. She had regrets about selling candy or pretzels in her classroom because she knew that there were children who never even had a penny to buy candy. She recalled one little boy who, for once, had a penny to buy a piece of fudge –which he immediately broke in half with his grimy hands and shared with her. Later, every time she told the story or thought of that boy, she had tears in her eyes. This short tale reveals a sensitive side that Gert did not always reveal.In some ways, she was a “searcher” throughout her life. She described feeling as though she never “fit,” but she knew this was where she belonged. She would jokingly say it was because she saw us as predominately Irish, and she treasured her strong Polish roots!

After teaching for 50 years, Gert made her home here at the Villa for the last 15 years. During those years, she had many ups and downs with her health. Nonetheless, she always seemed to “bounce back,” determined to go on, sharing herself and her humor with all. Gert modeled the words of our Constitutions which say “we accept, reverence, and love ourselves and one another in our weaknesses as well as our strengths. Thus, we endeavor to be realistic in our
expectations as pilgrims on the way.” Many of us enjoyed seeing this “realistic pilgrim” as she traveled through the halls, in the dining room, and in the chapel usually smiling or laughing. Gert, you will be missed. We are grateful for the life you shared with us and the thousands of
students you encountered. May you rest in God’s loving embrace for all eternity.