Sister Suzanne Schmelzle was born in Flush, Kansas; she entered religious life at Mount St. Scholastica, Atchison, Kansas, and pronounced her vows August 15, 1931. She was a charter member of Benet Hill Monastery and renewed her vows of 65 years August, 1996.
Sister Suzanne received her secondary and college education from Mount St. Scholastica Academy and College in Atchison, Kansas. In 1948, she received an MA in Education from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.
Music teacher, choir director, and administrator Sister Suzanne devoted her life to educating the young and the old of Kansas, Missouri, and Colorado. She taught grade school in Kansas and Missouri and served on the faculties of both Mt. St. Scholastica and Donnelly Colleges in Kansas early in her career. She was principal of St. Mary’s High School in Walsenburg, Colorado in the 1960s. In retirement, she spent part of her time tutoring English as a second language to adults.
Perhaps the Sister Suzanne most of us knew and loved the best was behind the choir director’s baton. She taught at Benet Hill Academy in Colorado Springs, creating the musical portion of the Dad-Daughter shows which were held every year. In 1997, alumnae dedicated their musical revue of previous shows to her. Her last years of active ministry were spent serving the people of Pueblo, Colorado at the Shrine of St. Therese directing their choir and ministering to the sick and elderly. Her “songfests” in the Monastery’s infirmary were an eagerly anticipated event on Sunday afternoons during the past few years.
Crocheting colorful potholders and butterflies for the Monastery gift shop and friends, she was always a cheery presence in St. Hildegard’s Infirmary during her last years. Enthusiastic, energetic, and inspiring; she will be missed by all of us who were privileged to know her.