Sister M. Verona Kurtzman died on November 12, 2018 at Rosary Care Center at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Francis in Sylvania, Ohio. Sister Verona, the daughter of Walter and Mary Kurtzman, went to Sylvania in 1961 to begin preparing to enter the Order by attending St. Clare Academy and Lourdes Junior College. She received an A.A. degree from Lourdes and attended food management courses at Fontbonne College in St. Louis, Missouri and Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. She later attended physical activity courses at Bowling Green State University and received a certificate as a Nursing Assistant with an emphasis in geriatrics from Automation Academy, Inc., Washington, DC.
Sister Verona made her first profession of vows in 1966 and professed her final vows in 1971. In her 52 years of ministry as a Sister of St. Francis, Sister Verona served in many different capacities. She had a knack for taking on new and challenging jobs with a generous amount of common sense and with enthusiasm, class and joy. She began her food service ministry as a dietary aide and moved into the role of manager of the Motherhouse cafeteria. She served as housekeeper and chef for retired Bishop Rehring and later did the same for Bishop Blair and the residents of the Toledo Diocese Chancery. Her years at Rosary Hall were spent in the dietary department, as a physical therapy aide, a nurse aide and enrichment assistant as well as a caregiver for individual Sisters. Sister Verona also served in pastoral care and was a patient escort at St. John Medical Center in Steubenville, Ohio. Due to a chronic health condition, she became a resident of Rosary Care Center in 2011 where she continued to serve others by visiting the residents, taking part in the activities and spending time in her ministry of prayer. When she was able, she could be seen walking the campus and enjoying the beauty of nature, praying at the various religious shrines and conversing with the people she met.
To know Sister Verona was to know someone who welcomed you into her life with gracious hospitality and often with a plan to go on an adventure somewhere be it out for a hot dog, a trip to a museum or one of the islands in Lake Erie. Though she came from a small town, Crestline, Ohio, she loved big cities and spent many happy years of ministry in Detroit, Minneapolis and Washington, DC. She loved to travel and visited several places in the USA with her Sister friends and family members. A few years ago, when asked for her favorite words of wisdom, Sister Verona replied, “What I am before God I am and nothing more.” May these words ring true for her now as she stands before God. Sister Verona will be dearly missed by her Sisters in community, her classmates, and her family, brothers John Kurtzman and Louie Kurtzman (Margy), and sister Joann Grubaugh (Dave), and many nieces and nephews.