Sister La Donna Marie Pinkelman died at Rosary Care Center in Sylvania, Ohio on November 19, 2022. The daughter of Germanus and Florence Pinkelman came to the convent in Sylvania in 1955 from St. Elizabeth Parish in Berkey, Ohio to attend St. Clare Academy and to eventually enter religious life as a Sister of St. Francis. She made her First Profession of Vows in 1961 and her Final Vows in 1966.
Sister La Donna was well prepared for the 61 years in which she served the People of God in a variety of ministries. She received an A.A. degree from Lourdes Junior College, Sylvania, Ohio; a B.A. degree from Mary Manse College, Toledo, Ohio; and an M.R.E. degree from St. Meinrad School of theology in Indiana as well as several certificates in theological and spiritual studies. She taught for 15 years in elementary schools in New Brighton and St. Paul, Minnesota and in Bowling Green, Ohio. For eight years she served as Coordinator of Religious Education in parishes in Bowling Green and Sandusky, Ohio and in St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Sister worked for 12 years in pastoral care in hospitals in Steubenville, Ohio and Canon City, Colorado and was Director of Mission Integration at Providence Care Center and the Commons in Sandusky, Ohio. She was involved in retreat work and spiritual direction at the Franciscan Spirituality Center in Sylvania for five years and served as Director of the Wholistic Resource Center located in Rosary Care Center until her health began to fail and she entered her last ministry, that of prayer ministry, at the Center.
Sister La Donna had many interesting experiences during her life as a Sylvania Franciscan. She was called upon to serve in a variety of ministries which required her to be flexible in her living and working arrangements. She was grateful for them and considered her time in Colorado, surrounded by the beauty of the mountains; taking a pilgrimage to Assisi and Rome; and enjoying a sabbatical in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in New Mexico, to be among the highlights of her religious life. She recorded her experiences through her writing of prayers, prose and poetry which a friend had published for her in two small books entitled Franciscan Flowers, Poetry, Prose and Prayer, volume I & II.
In her own words, written as she reflected on her Golden Jubilee, Sister La Donna wrote: “The Gift of these 50 years of Religious Life have had rocks as well as flowers, love and sad moments, joys overflowing at other times. My God has blessed me more than I can put into words. His strength and my Community carried me, supported me all these many years. I will keep saying my “YES” over and over to my dying breath. I Thank You with all my heart. I depend on Your constant strength as I work and suffer for love of You.” (2011)
Sister La Donna will be dearly missed by her Sisters in Community, her many family members and friends, and her caregivers at Rosary Care Center. She now gets to see the loving Face of God who she so loyally and lovingly shared with others during her 81 years on this earth. Requiescat in pace.
Sister La Donna is survived by her brothers Duane Pinkelman (Jane) and John Pinkelman and by her sisters Karen Noe (Jerry) and Nancy Lumbrezer.
Visitation for Sister La Donna will begin at 1:00 p.m. with a Welcoming Service on November 29, 2022 at Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel, where the funeral Mass will follow at 4:00 p.m. Livestream of the Mass can be found at https://sistersosf.org/queen-of-peace-chapel/
Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of St. Francis, Sylvania, Ohio.