Zoe (Helen) Imholte, OSB

Sister Zoe (Helen) Imholte, OSB, age 95, died peacefully at Saint Benedict Senior Community at 12:45 p.m. on Sunday, May 18, 2014.

Sister Zoe (Helen) Imholte, was born in Springbrook, Wis., the youngest of Joseph and Marie (Hofmann) Imholte’s four children. At birth she weighed only three pounds. Her mother was very ill and died a few weeks later, a victim of the 1918 flu. The baby was taken to the home of her maternal grandparents in Perham, Minn. Her brother and two sisters were taken to live with their paternal grandparents. Helen grew up in Perham where she attended the district school for grades 1, 2, 3 and 8, and St. Henry’s grade school for grades 4-7. When Helen was ten years old, her grandmother died. Her grandfather took care of her until his death.

On August 28, 1934, when she was 16 years old, Helen came to Saint Benedict’s Monastery. While an aspirant, she attended Saint Benedict’s Academy, and taught at St. John Cantius grade school in St. Cloud and at Ss. Peter and Paul in Gilman. On June 23, 1938, she was received into the novitiate as Sister Zoe. She made her first monastic profession on July 11, 1939 and perpetual monastic profession on July 11, 1942. Her Golden Jubilee in 1989 and her 60th Anniversary were happy celebrations. She was a 75th Jubilarian this year.

Sister Zoe’s many years of service as cook, laundress and homemaker were invaluable to the community. From 1939 to 1950 she served at parish missions in Minneapolis—nine years at St. Anne’s and two at St. Joseph’s. While working as a nurse aide with Sister Longina Kaar in the infirmary at Saint Benedict’s Monastery, she learned about caring for the sick. Then, again as homemaker, she served for 22 years at Holy Angels Convent, St. Cloud; St. Mary’s, Melrose; St. Boniface, Cold Spring and St. Gertrude’s Convent at St. Cloud Hospital. In retirement at Saint Raphael’s Convent, St. Cloud, from 1978 to 1999, Sister Zoe continued assisting Sisters who were ill and served as receptionist. In January 1999, she moved to Saint Scholastica Convent where she enjoyed retirement and the activities of community life. She liked to sew and to watch the Catholic television channel.

Sister Zoe is survived by her Benedictine community and extended family members. Her brother, Cyril, and two sisters, Agnes Reser and Cassilda Imholte, preceded her in death. The Sisters who lived with Sister Zoe recount her tireless services rendered with charity and kindness, and her faithful commitment to searching for God. Her eyes and ears were open and receptive to God’s love and she was drawn deeply into that love. Even as we mourn her death, we are assured that now she has awakened in the eternal presence of Christ.