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In Loving Memory of Sister Mary Ann Welder, OSB - February 22, 2009

Sister Mary Ann Welder obituary

Sister Mary Ann Welder, 94, a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, went home to Jesus February 22, 2009, at the monastery.

 A warm, gracious and loving woman, Sister Mary Ann lived a full, rich life. With a deep faith in God, a lively sense of humor, and a determined, energetic spirit, Sister Mary Ann brought joy to her family, community and friends. She is deeply loved and will be remembered with great fondness.

 Mary Ann was born Sept. 8, 1914, in Napoleon, ND, to Daniel and Frances (Stroh) Kuhn. She was the fifth of 11 children who grew up in a home filled with faith and love. Four of Mary Ann’s sisters entered religious life.  As a young woman, Mary Ann thought of joining the convent, but fell in love with Sebastian Welder. They were married in 1935, lived in Napoleon and moved to Bismarck in 1943.

 Sebastian died on Dec. 23, 1951, leaving Mary Ann a widow at age 37 with three small children. To support the family, Mary Ann went to school and learned secretarial skills and then worked for the State Insurance Department for 16 years.

 After her children were grown, Mary Ann again felt the call to religious life. She entered Annunciation Monastery in 1968 and made monastic profession Sept. 27, 1970.  
“I wanted to do more for the Lord,” she once said explaining her reason for becoming a Benedictine sister.

 In her 40 years as a Benedictine, Sister Mary Ann served in many capacities. She did secretarial work, used her culinary talents for food service, was a great baker (her baked goods always had to be made from scratch) and made Little Red Riding Hood dolls for the gift shop.  With her wonderful spirit of hospitality, Sister Mary Ann made guests feel at home at the monastery where she served as guest coordinator for 13 years.

 Sister Mary Ann was also active in the civic community. She was a member of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas for 62 years, volunteered weekly for 20 years at the Bismarck Emergency Food Pantry and 10 years at the soup kitchen of the Ruth Meier’s Hospitality House.

 An avid sports fan, she cheered for the Minnesota Twins, the Minnesota Vikings and the University of Mary teams. She never missed a home Marauder football or basketball game. Even at age 94, she could be seen in the bleachers cheering for the Marauders.  For such enthusiastic support, the University of Mary Varsity Club surprised her with the “Lifetime Fan Award” in 2006.   

  Sister Mary Ann truly enjoyed life. She liked meeting people, attending cultural and social events, playing bridge and visiting her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She loved her family and was proud of them.  

 She also loved her Benedictine community. “My days are blessed with grateful memories of each of you,” she wrote in her last days.

 She is survived by two daughters, Sister Thomas, Bismarck; Judith (Stefan) Jankus, Navarre, Fla.; a daughter-in-law, Marcia Welder, Rosemount, Minn.; two sisters, Sister Daniella Kuhn,  Sister Alene Kuhn, Mankato, Minn.; two brothers, Gabe, Farmington, Minn.; Al, Alamogordo, NM; six grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and the Sisters of Annunciation Monastery.

 She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her son, George, one brother and five sisters.

   Memorials may be made to Annunciation Monastery.

   To share memories of Sister Mary Ann, please visit and sign the online guest book. (Parkway Funeral Service, Bismarck)