S. Wilma Lyle OSB, 100, died on February, 21, 2021. A wake service will be held at 7:00 p.m. on February, 24, 2021, and the funeral Mass will be celebrated on February, 25, 2021, at 11:00 a.m., both in Bishop Marty Memorial Chapel. Burial will be in the monastery cemetery. Wintz & Ray Funeral Home, Yankton, is in charge of arrangements.
Helen Ruth Lyle was born on February 23 1920 to William and Lillian (Ruddel) Lyle, the third of seven children, in Spink township, Union County, South Dakota. She attended Hillswood Public School, Elk Point High School and Mount Marty High School. She graduated from Mount Marty College, Yankton, South Dakota in 1953 and St Mary’s College School of Theology at Notre Dame, Indiana in 1955.
Helen entered Sacred Heart Monastery on August 24, 1937. She was invested as a novice on June 23, 1938 and received the name Wilma. S. Wilma made first profession on June 24, 1939 and made final profession on June 24, 1939.
S. Wilma served as an elementary teacher from 1939-1952. She taught in schools in Glen Ullin, Richardton, and Selfridge North Dakota; Hoven and Aberdeen South Dakota. She was the Academic Dean at Mount Marty College 1955-1963. From 1963-1965, she was a professor in the Religion Department at Mount Marty College. In September 1965, S. Wilma and four other sisters began a mission in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. She led this mission to the poor until December 1972. She was elected as Prioress of Sacred Heart Monastery 1973-1981. She then became a pastoral minister in Sioux Falls 1981-1987. She was the director of religious education for the diocese of Salt Lake City, UT 1988-1990, and returned to South Dakota to parish ministry in Brookings, South Dakota until 1995. She served as Mission Coordinator for Avera Sacred Heart Hospital 2002-2005.
S. Wilma never found life dull. She loved to be engaged in every moment. The death of her mother early in her life shaped her sense of responsibility to others. She was quick on her feet and in her response to the people she served.
S. Wilma is survived by her Benedictine community, her sister Barbara (John) Bernard and brother Mark (Jeanne) Lyle, and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents and five siblings.
Due to Covid, the services are restricted for the Sisters of the Monastery. However, to extend our Benedictine hospitality for our family and friends, we will be live-streaming the wake and the funeral. This may be accessed by our Facebook page, Benedictine Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery: https://www.facebook.com/shmvocation.