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Sister Kriegler, 77, loved working as archbishop's secretary

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Sister Dolores Kriegler, OSM, former principal at St. Pius X School in Omaha and secretary to the late Archbishop Daniel E. Sheehan, died Oct. 11 in Omaha after suffering a stroke. She was 77.

A funeral Mass was held Oct. 15 at Our Lady of Sorrows Chapel at the Servants of Mary Motherhouse in Omaha. Presiding at the Mass was Father Rodney Adams, pastor of St. Rose Church in Omaha - Sister Kriegler's family parish. Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss attended the funeral, as did many priests.

Burial took place at the convent cemetery.

Throughout her life, Sister Kriegler was a teacher, a principal and a secretary.

Born in Omaha in 1929, Sister Kriegler attended the former St. Rose School and the former St. John High School. After graduation, she was a secretary for six years.

In 1955 she joined the Servants of Mary and went on to receive a bachelor's degree in education from Siena Heights College in Adrian, Mich., and a master's degree in educational administration from St. Louis University.

For 12 years she worked as a teacher in Detroit, Mich., and was principal in Illinois from 1967 to 1975.

From 1975 to 1982, she was principal at St. Pius X School. After that assignment, she served 11 years as Archbishop Sheehan's secretary. She continued as chancery secretary from 1993 to 1995.

"She loved education and schools, but her very favorite thing to do was to be a secretary," said Sister Ginny Silvestri, provincial of the Servants of Mary. "She loved Archbishop Sheehan and she loved working for him. She said, 'The 11 years I was Archbishop Sheehan's secretary were the best and happiest years of my religious life.'"

Sister Silvestri said Sister Kriegler was a good secretary because she was professional, proper, well-organized and paid a lot of attention to detail.

"In her own quiet way, she could keep her bosses going in the right direction," Sister Silvestri said.

After leaving the chancery, Sister Kriegler worked in the business and finance office at the Servants of Mary Motherhouse.

Since 1997, Sister Kriegler was a volunteer at the Jesuit Middle School in Omaha where she kept spreadsheets, changed bulletin boards, helped correct papers and for a few years worked with students to improve their handwriting skills. At times she'd fill in as the school's receptionist, said Father Jim Michalski, president of Jesuit Middle School and homilist at Sister Kriegler's funeral.

Father Michalski recalls his friend as having a very strong belief in God, as being loyal, and having an eye for detail. She also was very dedicated to both her religious community and her family, he said.

"She was a real pleasure to have here because of the spirit she brought. She always had a smile and her presence was delightful because of her deep faith and her pleasant personality," Father Michalski said. "I'll just miss her faithful presence."

Sister Silvestri said they'll miss Sister Kriegler's "lovely smile and gentle presence." She called the nun "a nice person who was very reserved and very compassionate."

"She was absolutely dedicated to religious life and had a very strong prayer life. Prayer was central in her life," she said. "She also loved her religious community and her family and was very loyal to both."

Sister Kriegler was preceded in death by her parents, Paul and Elizabeth Kriegler; two brothers, Richard and Paul Kriegler; and a sister, Margaret Belek. She is survived by two sisters, Marie Kriegler and Elizabeth Kriegler, both of Omaha, as well as several nieces and nephews.

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