April 25,1931 – August 17, 2023
Sister Mary Odelle Siskoski, 92, died in Swedish/North Shore
Hospital, Chicago, Illinois, after having lived 72 years in religious life.
Sister Mary Odelle was born in Ironwood, Michigan, on April 25, 1931. She was one of eleven children born to Louis and Agnes Siskoski. At
her Baptism in St. Michael Church on May 17, 1931, she was given the
name Veronica. When Veronica was older, her family moved to Chicago, where she attended Parker School and then went on to graduate from St. Joseph High School.
While attending St. Joseph High School, she was attracted to the Felician Sisters by the Felician spirit and artistic giftedness of Sister Mary Adolphine Ksioszk. On November 21, 1950, Veronica entered the Postulancy of the Felician Sisters. She was given the religious name of Sister Mary Odelle at her Investiture on August 7, 1951. Her Final Profession took place on August 22, 1958.
While working to achieve her Bachelor’s degree at Loyola University in Chicago, Sister Mary Odelle ministered at elementary schools in Illinois and Wisconsin. After receiving her degree, she taught elementary school children in Brazil for three years. Returning to the states, she obtained her Master’s degree in education from Loyola University. Sister Mary Odelle continued to serve in elementary schools in Wisconsin and Illinois as a teacher and principal for the next twenty-five years. Sister Mary Odelle valued Catholic education because she felt it is where values are stressed so that healthy morals could be lived out in our world today.
In 1994, Sister Mary Odelle became the local minister and administrator at our Lady of Creek Bend in St. Charles, Illinois. She made everyone who came to Creek Bend for rest and relaxation feel completely at home. All thoroughly enjoyed her delicious meals.
Then, in 2000, she began ministering in Felician Village in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, in several supportive services for over twenty years. While there, she developed a thyroid problem and subsequently had to use a tracheostomy after a surgery that went wrong. However, Sister Mary Odelle continued to serve actively there as a sacristan. She also found time to bake her famous pound cakes and paint in oils on canvas, especially of glorious colored flowers, birds, and nature scenes. Sister Mary Odelle radiated joy and peace born of her deep faith. She was a religious woman who had an ever-constant true Franciscan spirit.
Sister Mary Odelle returned to Mother of Good Counsel Convent in 2022 for a ministry of presence and prayer. She died peacefully on August 17, 2023, in Swedish/North Shore Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.
Family, friends, and her sisters in community attended her wake and Mass of Christian Burial, concelebrated by Reverend Anthony Cirignani, OFM, and Reverend Bernard Kennedy, OFM, in the Mother of Good Counsel Chapel on August 22, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois. Her body was taken for interment to St. Adalbert Cemetery in Niles, Illinois.