Sister Frances Jean Sandschulte, 97, of the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, died Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, at the convent.
Born Aug. 12, 1919, in Loretto, Tennessee, she was the daughter of Elizabeth (Hollander) and Henry Sandschulte.
Sister Frances Jean entered the convent Sept. 12, 1939, and made her final vows Aug. 12, 1945. She served as a music teacher, organist, orchestra and band director for 65 years before retiring in 2007. Those schools included Our Lady of Angels, St. Catherine's, St. Aloysius Gonzaga and La Salle, Cincinnati; Tierra Maria High School, New Mexico; St. Mary's, New Albany; and Little Flower, Holy Trinity and Our Lady of Lourdes, Indianapolis.
The first of five children, her family moved to Cincinnati in 1925. She became introduced to the Sisters as a student at Perpetual Help Elementary School. Living close to the Sisters, she began to consider her religious calling. Knowing she wanted to pursue that calling, she waited two years after graduating before entering the Franciscan community.
She noted that her parents loved music and as a result, she and her siblings pursued musical interests in which all were involved in the school orchestras and bands. Sister Frances Jean enrolled in Marian University to get her music degree and later would graduate from the Cincinnati College of Music in 1953 and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 1971.
In 2005, while teaching at La Salle High School, she was recognized by the principal during Catholic Schools Week. In congratulating her, he said, "Sister, thank you for being an invaluable member of our greater Cincinnati Catholic school community. Your dedication, love of music and passion for education are inspirational to all. May God continue to bless you with health and happiness because of your loyal service to his children."
Upon retirement, she commented, "My greatest joy has been music. My mother was a talented pianist and her love of music was caught by all her children. From the time I entered the community, I was assigned to schools where I gave individual music lessons and organized bands and orchestras. I must say I never missed a day in 65 years, so I lived 'the sound of music.' Somewhere in all of this I graduated from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music with honors." In retirement, she assisted in the convent archives area and was piano accompanist for the choir and a member of the Chime Choir.
Visitation is Tuesday, Jan. 10, from 1-3 p.m. at the convent chapel. Funeral services follow at 3 p.m. with the Rev. Bill Turner officiating. Burial will be in the convent cemetery. Weigel Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Memorials may be made to the Sisters of St. Francis, P.O. Box 100, Oldenburg, IN 47036 (www.OldenburgFranciscans.org).
Published on January 7, 2017