Sister Margaret Sibbel spent decades in education, mostly at rural archdiocesan schools

Sister Margaret Sibbel was a religious sister for nearly 80 years, serving as an educator in Illinois, Montana, Wisconsin and Nebraska.

She dedicated about 45 of those years to students in the Archdiocese of Omaha.

Sister Margaret, also known as Sister Mary Bertille, died April 1 in Milwaukee. She was 95.

A funeral Mass was held April 12 in Milwaukee, followed by a private burial service there.

Born in Butte, Nebraska, she entered the School Sisters of St. Francis in 1943. She made her first profession of vows in 1945 and her perpetual vows in 1951.

In the archdiocese, Sister Margaret served as a teacher and organist at the former St. Joseph School in Pierce from 1947-1952 and in Cedar County as a principal, teacher and organist at the former St. Mary School and at East and West Catholic Schools from 1963 to 1979.

She served on the provincial team for her congregation’s Our Lady of the Angels Province in Omaha from 1979-1980 and on a leadership team for the sisters’ U.S. Region in Milwaukee from 1980-83.

Sister Margaret then returned to teaching in the archdiocese, serving as a principal and teacher at St. Ludger School in Creighton from 1984-1995 and as a part-time teacher and pastoral minister from 1995-2008.

In retirement, she served in the ministry of prayer and presence at St. Joseph Convent Motherhouse and later at the Sacred Heart retirement and health center, both in Milwaukee.

Survivors include a brother and sister-in-law, Tony and Kathleen Sibbel of Omaha, other family members and friends, and the School Sisters of St. Francis.

Gifts in Sister Margaret’s memory can be made to the School Sisters of St. Francis, 1501 S. Layton Boulevard, Milwaukee, WI 53215.

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