Sr. Francesca Koller, OP, who ministered at St. Jude, dies

Sister Francesca “Fran” Koller, OP, died Jan. 19 at St. Dominic Villa in Hazel Green, Wis. The funeral Mass was held at the Dominican motherhouse in Sinsinawa, Wis., on Jan. 28, followed by burial in the Motherhouse Cemetery.

Sister Fran made her first profession as a Dominican Sister of Sinsinawa on Aug. 5, 1952, and her perpetual profession on Aug. 5, 1955. She taught school for 24 years and served as pastoral minister for 16 years, liturgist for 18 years, chaplain for 10 years, and assistant prioress for four years.

The people of Anchorage, Alaska, said in an award presentation, “In every situation, Sister Fran radiates warmth and honesty.” She loved adventures, was a talented singer and created watercolor paintings. Sister Fran served the Church in Illinois, Minnesota, South Carolina, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Tennessee, and Alaska, as well as Trinidad and Tobago.

Sister Fran was born on Aug. 10, 1931, in Appleton, Wis., the daughter of Joseph and Mary (Pimishern) Koller. Her parents; two sisters, Ann Farrell and Elizabeth Pearce; and six brothers, Frank Koller, Joseph Koller Jr., Otto Koller, Norbert Koller, Walter Koller, and Albert Koller, preceded her in death. She is survived by a sister, Janet Nelson; a brother, Emil Koller; nieces; nephews; and her Dominican Sisters with whom she shared 68 years of religious life.

In the Diocese of Nashville, Sister Fran served as pastoral minister at St. Jude Parish in Chattanooga from 1985-1988. She also taught or served as a pastoral minister or liturgist in the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the Diocese of Charleston, the Diocese of Lafayette, the Diocese of Green Bay, the Archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau, the Diocese of Madison, the Archdiocese of Port of Spain, and in the Archdiocese of Dubuque, where she served as an assistant prioress.

Memorials may be made to the Sinsinawa Dominicans, 585 County Road Z, Sinsinawa, WI 53824-9701 or at

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