Sister Dorothea Kripps, 104, died January 9, 2020, at Villa Saint Vincent, Crookston.
Dorothea Kripps, the first of three children born to Anton and Anne (Avenson) Kripps, was born in Park Rapids on June 27, 1915. She attended both elementary and high school there and was the class valedictorian. Sister Dorothea’s musical talent led to her being the parish organist at a young age. She was inspired to be a sister through her service as the organist. Each summer the pastor sent the choir girls to the Mount to witness the monastic receptions and professions. Mother Eustacia, always looking for women who might be called to Benedictine life, would go out of her way to greet them and talk with them.
Mother Eustacia’s hospitality and interest made an impression on Dorothea and influenced her to join the monastic community on August 16, 1934. Sister Dorothea was invested in the Benedictine habit on February 10, 1935. She made her first monastic profession on February 11, 1936, and her final profession on July 11, 1939.
Sister Dorothea attended Corbett College, Crookston; Alverno College, Milwaukee; St. John’s University, Collegeville, and the Sherwood Institute of Music in Chicago and other schools. From 1936-1976 Sister Dorothea taught music, played the organ, and directed choirs in Crookston, Bemidji, Mahnomen, Moorhead, and Benson. After thirty years in music ministry, she retired due to hearing loss. She then took classes in home nursing to become a certified nurse assistant and used her newly acquired skills at Villa Saint Vincent from 1976-1991. Both staff and residents appreciated Sister Dorothea for her kindness.
Sister Dorothea retired to the Mount, where she pursued her hobbies of stringing rosary beads, sewing, knitting, and being of assistance where needed in Good Shepherd Hall. Even in her old age, she remained a courteous and generous conversationalist, putting the other person at ease, and affirming each in turn.
Sister Dorothea was preceded in death by her parents Anna (Avenson) and Anton Kripps and siblings Basil Kripps and Elizabeth Rieden. She is survived by several relatives and the Sisters of Saint Benedict of Crookston.
Reception of the body of Sister Dorothea will be on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. with visitation from 5:30 until a prayer service at 7:00 p.m. The funeral will be at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. All services will be at Mount Saint Benedict Monastery, 620 Summit Ave. Crookston, MN 56716. Interment will be in the Mount Saint Benedict Cemetery.
Gifts in memory of Sister Dorothea may be given to Mount Saint Benedict Foundation.