S. Elise Haverkamp OSB

Elise Haverkamp, OSB, 90, died on December 4, 2021. A wake service will be held at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, December 8, 2021, and the Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 AM, on Thursday, December 9, 2021, both in Bishop Marty Memorial Chapel in Yankton, South Dakota. Burial will be in the monastery cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton.

Rita Jane was born March 10, 1931 the second child of Hobart John and Thelma Mary (Richling) Haverkamp in the small three-room home near Brunswick, Nebraska. She attended several one-room country schools in her youth because of the family moving seven times. After settling around Creighton, Nebraska, she attended St. Ludger’s Academy grade and high school. Following graduation, she taught in a country school for two years which brought her many challenges. She answered God’s call and entered Sacred Heart Monastery on August 20, 1950. She was invested as a novice on June 28, 1951 and received the name Elise.

Elise made her first profession on June 29, 1952 and began teaching in Pueblo, Colorado for nine years. She also taught in Lincoln, Nebraska and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. During this time (1952-1962), she attended summer school at Mount Marty College for her education degree. In August 1964, she received her Library Science degree from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. She then ministered as a librarian at Mount Marty College, Avera Sacred Heart Hospital, and Sacred Heart Monastery. The changes that followed Vatican II were highlights of her life and gave her much joy.

Elise had a natural curiosity as a child and in her adult life. This curiosity was a great asset as a librarian who was asked to assist with research projects. She often read or gathered knowledge from every book before cataloging it. She marveled at nature, its beauty and ability to surprise her. She nurtured flowers and herbs, and she loved to walk. She enjoyed the simple things in life and felt carried by her loving God when she struggled with illness. These times were times of pruning which produced much personal growth. She loved her family and enjoyed visits, telephone calls and cards from them. In her later years, she spent time praying for her family and the intentions of others.

Elise is survived by her Benedictine community, her brothers Ted (Donna May), Philip, Paul (Marge), and Bill, and her sister, Mary Clare, and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents, a brother, Stanley, and sister-in–law, Mary Lou.

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