Clare (Bonaventure) Witzman, OSB
Saint Benedict’s Monastery
St. Joseph, Minn.
June 30, 1934 – April 12, 2023
The Eucharist of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, at the Sacred Heart Chapel, Saint Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, for Sister Clare Witzman, who died on April 12, 2023, at Saint Scholastica Convent, St. Cloud, Minn. Burial will be in the monastery cemetery. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Benson Funeral Home. Friends may call at Saint Scholastica Convent on Monday, April 17, for a Prayer Service at 3 p.m. followed by visitation until 4:15 p.m., or for a Vigil Prayer Service at 7 p.m. at Saint Benedict’s Monastery. Visitation continues at 9 a.m. until the time of the funeral on Tuesday, April 18.
Clare (Bonaventure) Witzman was born June 30, 1934, to Ben and Minnie (Diel) Witzman in Cold Spring, Minn., the sixth of eight children. She attended District #17 Public Grade School in Cold Spring and St. Agnes Grade School and High School in St. Paul, Minn. On September 8, 1953, Clare entered Saint Benedict’s Monastery, was received into the novitiate as Sister Bonaventure on June 16, 1954, keeping her name in religion until 1968, made first monastic profession on July 11, 1955, and perpetual monastic profession on July 11, 1958. Her Golden Jubilee celebrated on July 11, 2005, and her 60th Jubilee in 2015 were occasions of deep joy.
Education was at the heart of S. Clare’s ministry beginning with earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a minor in philosophy from the College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph. She received a master’s degree at St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, and a license in middle school English and language arts. She also attended Hamline University, St. Paul.
A beloved teacher, S. Clare served as an educator at several locations in Minnesota, including St. Mary’s Cathedral Grade School in St. Cloud, Long Prairie, Bluffton, Perham, Maple Lake, Pearl Lake, and Cathedral High School/John XXIII School in St. Cloud, where she taught English literature, language, arts and religion classes for more than 35 years. She was also principal at Bluffton, Pearl Lake and Maple Lake. During the summer, she taught vacation bible classes in various parishes. After retiring from teaching, S. Clare worked in monastery services at Saint Benedict’s Monastery and as an artisan creating beautiful tatting and cards. She moved to Saint Scholastica Convent in 2022 where she undertook a ministry of prayer.
Clare is survived by her Benedictine community, her brother, Bernard (Sandy), her sister, Julia (+James) Piechowski, her sister-in-law, Patricia Witzman, as well as nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sisters, Catherine Witzman and Josephine (+Sam) Bongiovanni, and her brothers, Milton (+Dolores), Rev. Hugh Witzman, OSB, and Otto.
Please direct memorial gifts to the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict Outreach Ministries.