Obituary of Sister Martha Ann Kienzler, OSF
A native of Springfield, Illinois, Sister Martha, born on July 29, 1936, was one of George J. and Clementine (Burger) Kienzler’s four children. She was preceded in death by her parents, George and Clementine Kienzler, her brother George (Vivian) Kienzler, her sisters Dolores (Robert) Pellman and Mary (Vernon) Schafer. She is survived by two generations of nieces, nephews, and many cherished friends and colleagues.
Sister Martha attended SS. Peter and Paul elementary school and Ursuline Academy in Springfield, Illinois. She received an Associate of Arts degree (1956) from Springfield Junior College, Springfield, Illinois, a BA in history and philosophy, cum laude (1958) and an MA in theology (1969) from the College of St. Francis, Joliet, Illinois. Sister Martha held a MSW from the University of St. Louis (1971) St. Louis, Missouri, and was a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Illinois. She furthered her studies with courses in theology, spirituality, social work, pastoral studies, and gerontology. Sister Martha earned a multiple-disciplinary Certificate in Geriatrics for Non-Physicians from the University of Illinois, Champaign.
After teaching at Cathedral of St. Raymond School, Joliet, Illinois, (1961-1963) Sister Martha served as a case worker (1963-1970) for Catholic Charities in Toledo, Ohio. From 1973 to 1975, she was the Director of Social Services at Guardian Angel Home, Joliet, Illinois. Her ministry then took her to Defiance, Ohio, where she served as Director of Catholic Social Services (1975-1981). She was a pastoral minister at Sacred Heart Parish (1984-1989) in Muskegon Heights, Michigan, until she returned to Joliet, Illinois, (1989-1996) where she ministered as Director of Social Services at Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home. In 1996 until 2008 she was Pastoral Associate at Immaculate Conception Parish in Morris, Illinois. Sister Martha shared her skills in social work, spirituality, and gerontology as she served in the Pastoral Care Department at Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home (2009-2016) and continued her ministry of prayer and presence at Story Point Senior Living in Romeoville.