In Memory

Sister Lucy (Luke) Windolph

 

 



Sister Lucy Windolph
Born: May 28, 1927
Died: July 13, 2014


Lucy was born on May 28, 1927, in Humphrey, Nebraska. Her parents were Oscar and Agnes (Burkhard) Windolph. Her father was the town pharmacist, and owned the Corner Drug Store. Her mother had 12 children and one miscarriage. One child, Gladys, died when she was just five days old. The miscarriage and the death of Gladys were both around the time of the big flu epidemic in 1918. Lucy’s parents both had the flu.

The children in the order of their birth were Rita, Norberta, Catherine, Adelaide, Gladys, Joseph, George, Frank and Philip (twins), Dorothy, Lucy, and Bernard. The children did not go to kindergarten, but started school with first grade. Lucy’s mother believed that kindergarten was for children whose parents wanted to get them out of the house, but she loved her children and wanted to keep them at home until they had to go to school. Lucy was seven years old when she started first grade in 1934.

The family belonged to St. Francis Parish in Humphrey which was staffed by Franciscan priests. The children went to St. Francis grade and high school. Their teachers were Franciscan Sisters from Colorado Springs, Colorado.

For Lucy’s first day in school she had a “store bought” dress, which was unusual, since their mother made most of their clothes. On that first day, Lucy ran too close to the swings and was hit by one of them. She found herself on the ground with a very bloody forehead and a bloody new dress! Someone ran and got one of the sisters, who took her in and bandaged her head. Then Sister sent for Lucy’s oldest brother, Joseph, who was in the eighth grade. He took her to her dad at the drug store, and she was taken to the doctor, who put some kind of clamps on the wound and then covered it with a bandage and adhesive tape. It made a nice “frontlet” – although Lucy didn’t know that word at the time – and she was able to make believe she was a sister.

She had already decided to go to the convent, when her oldest sister Rita went to the Missionary Catechists before Lucy started first grade. By the time Lucy graduated from high school, all the older members of the family had gone into religious life. The boys all went to the OFM Franciscans, and the girls all went to different communities; four different Franciscan communities and a Carmelite community. Since the girls’ communities were all different, Lucy didn’t want to “favor” a particular one, so she decided to find another community. She ended up following some cousins (the Kaufmans, “first cousins, once removed”) and joined the School Sisters of St. Francis.

Most of Sister Lucy’s siblings are deceased; she has only one sister and one brother left. Her sister, Dorothy who prefers to be called by her middle name Therese, was a Carmelite, but left that community and now lives in Milwaukee. Her youngest brother, Bernard, who is now Father Nestor, OFM, is stationed in Belem, Brazil, South America, where he has been for most of his priestly life. Sister Lucy last saw him in 1976, when he returned to the States on medical leave.

Lucy was the last one of the children at home and found it hard to leave. She had worked in her dad’s drug store for many years, from grade school through high school and through her post-graduation years. When her dad sold the store, he and Lucy both worked part time for the pharmacist who bought it.

Lucy left for the convent when she was 20 years old, in 1947. She was received with the class of 1948, and given the name Sister Luke.

She wanted to teach little children, and was told she might start there, but probably wouldn’t stay there. She did start her teaching in kindergarten in Greendale, but after only one year the community closed its kindergartens, and Sister Lucy was moved to first, second, and third grades. After a few years she moved to high school and taught math. She taught for ten years at St. Joseph High School in Kenosha and then was transferred to Pius XI High School, where she taught math for two years, before moving into the scheduling office, where she worked for the next 38 years.

After a total of 40 years at Pius, Sister Lucy retired to Campbellsport on June 25, 2007. Her main occupation there was pushing wheelchairs whenever and wherever needed.

In 2013, Sister Lucy moved to Our Lady of the Angels. She spent her days doing Sudoku puzzles and reading. She loved the many spiritual opportunities offered at OLA, and she looked forward to going out to lunch with Father Bill on Thursdays!

Although Sister Lucy was a quiet person, we all enjoyed her dry sense of humor. She could always make us smile and brighten our days. Today we rejoice with Sister Lucy as she celebrates her new life with God.