"The greater the work the more
important it is to establish it on
a solid foundation. Thus it will
not only be more perfect; it
will also be more lasting.”

St. Louise de Marillac

“Be diligent in serving
the poor. Love the poor,
honor them, my children,
as you would honor
Christ Himself.”

St. Louise de Marillac


Sister Ann Koebel

Sister Ann Koebel died March 16, 2024, at the age of 99 in Mother Margaret Hall, the nursing facility for the Sisters of Charity. Sister Ann was born on Nov. 1, 1924, to George and Gertrude (Billian) Koebel in Chillicothe, Ohio. She was the second child of four daughters in a very close-knit family, with two choosing to become Sisters of Charity.  

Sister Ann grew up in Chillicothe, attending St. Mary grade school and graduating from Catholic Central High School in 1942. The seeds of her vocation were sown through the relationships she formed throughout her school years with her Sisters of Charity teachers. It was while Sister Ann was a sophomore at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati that she decided to become a Sister of Charity. She entered the SC Community on Sept. 8, 1943.

Sister Ann earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from the College of Mount St. Joseph in 1955 and a master’s degree in counseling from Fordham University in New York in 1965. Early on she desired to be a math teacher, but was initially needed in the growing elementary classrooms in the 1950s.

Sister Ann’s ministries spanned 55 years, 34 in education as teacher, counselor and administrator; the next 20 years she served in health care, chaplaincy and rural parish ministry, seeking opportunities best suited to her gifts. In retirement she would say that her happiest memories were the years she spent in Appalachia in a loving, caring parish faith community.

Sister Ann’s elementary classroom ministries took her to Michigan and Ohio for a span of 10 years before transitioning to the high school level. Among the schools she served were Pueblo Catholic, Pueblo, Colorado (teacher); Seton High School, Cincinnati (teacher and counselor); and Marian High School, Cincinnati (counselor and assistant principal). She spent the 1973-’74 school year at her own Bishop Flaget High School, Chillicothe, with time to help care for her mother.

In 1974 Sister Ann was asked to serve as educational director at St. Joseph’s Infant and Maternity Home, Cincinnati (1974-’78). The classes for each student had to be especially tailored to meet the girls’ educational requirements. She would say, “This became one of the most beautiful experiences in education I ever had. I felt I was able to help our girls in individual and personal ways to assure them of their value and dignity.” The opportunity prompted her to complete a Clinical Pastoral Education program at Good Samaritan Hospital, Cincinnati, which led her to implement and direct pastoral care services for her Sisters at Mother Margaret Hall nursing facility at Mount St. Joseph. In 1981 Sister Ann was asked to serve as the congregation’s personnel director, a position she held for three years. In the mid-1980s she looked to chaplaincy in Appalachia at Our Lady of the Way Hospital, Martin, Kentucky, followed by parish ministry at St. Therese Church, Cleveland, Tennessee (1987-’91). 

Sister Ann’s retirement years provided her more time for prayer, walking, cards and listening to good music. She volunteered in the Finance Office and the employee tutoring program. She was a lector, a Eucharistic Minister and served in Central Network Leadership. She saw the Motherhouse Clinic and Mother Margaret Hall nursing staff as special blessings for the Sisters. She shared, “I pray every day for our nurses and their healing ministry to all of us living here. They are a real witness to the healing presence of Christ in our midst.”

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