Sister Martha Herkness died on July 4, 2020, at Orchard Villa in Oregon, Ohio, after a lengthy illness. The daughter of Joseph and Eleanore Herkness, she entered the Sisters of St. Francis in Sylvania in 1961 from St. Raphael Parish, Garden City, Michigan. As a young person, she felt led by God to become a Sister as she read a book about religious orders in the United States. In 1965, Sister made her first profession as a Sylvania Franciscan and professed final vows in 1971.
During her past 55 years in religious life, Sister Martha became an LPN at Providence School of Nursing in Sandusky, Ohio, received a B.S. degree from Lourdes College in Sylvania, Ohio and a M.A. degree in counseling from Siena Heights College in Adrian, Michigan. As an LPN, Sister Martha worked at the former Providence Hospital in Sandusky, the former Holy Cross Hospital in Detroit, and at Rosary Care Center in Sylvania. She used her many talents in medical records and counseling, as a retreat assistant and core member of the House of Prayer, and as print shop manager, housing coordinator and purchasing director.
Due to serious health challenges, Sister Martha entered a time of transition where she continued to use her creative talents writing poetry, recycling wooden canes into works of art, working on her family genealogy, and inspiring others with her words of wisdom flowing from her deep spiritual life.
She will be missed by her Sisters in community and by her family and friends and caregivers at Our Lady of Grace.
Due to the Covid 19 precautions, services will be private on July 9, 2020, for the Sisters only. Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of St. Francis, Sylvania, Ohio. Arrangements by Thomas I. Wisniewski Funeral Home, Toledo, Ohio.
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Sisters of St. Francis
6832 Convent Blvd., Sylvania OH 43560