+ Sister Arlene Kleemann

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+ Sister Arlene Kleemann

Sister Arlene Kleemann, 80, died peacefully at the Monastery on June 24, 2024 in her 61st year of monastic profession. Born January 2, 1944 to George and Evelyn (Heyden) Kleemann, she and her brother George grew up in the city of Chicago, Illinois. Invited by her 7th grade Benedictine teacher to visit the Benedictine motherhouse in Duluth, she began considering a vocation, and in 1961 entered St. Scholastica Monastery. As a novice she took the name Georgemarie after her father and brother. She made her first monastic profession in 1963 and her perpetual profession in 1966, celebrating her 60th jubilee In 2023. She eventually returned to her baptismal name.

She earned a BA in Education and Music in 1966 from The College of St. Scholastica and became a beloved teacher and principal at St. James Elementary School in West Duluth. Returning to her home parish in Chicago, she was teacher and principal there until the school closed, then taught at several other schools for a total of forty years. She also earned an MA in Pastoral Ministry from Loyola University in 1983. Sister Arlene completed her ministry at St. Mary of the Lake in the North Loop neighborhood, teaching children of recent immigrants from around the world and helping their families adjust to a new life. In 2023 Sister Arlene returned to Duluth. She is survived by her brother George (Sandi) Kleemann, nieces, nephews, many close friends, and the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery.

Wake service/Morning Prayer with visitation will be at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 2, in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel. The Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11:00 with Father Corbin Eddy presiding and interment in Gethsemane Cemetery at the Monastery. Funeral arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home 218-727-3555. The Wake service/funeral will be streamed on Dougherty’s funeral home Facebook page beginning at 10:00am – https://m.facebook.com/dfhduluth/

Sister Arlene Kleemann


Posted in Obituaries


  1. Sister arlene was truly one of God‘s angels. May she rest in heaven

  2. So sorry to hear of her passing. I had her for music class in 4th grade at St Timothy’s in Chicago. I Went on to St Scholastica Academy in Chicago and remained in Benedictine care! She will be sorely missed!

  3. I had her as a teacher at St. James Catholic School MANY years ago. She, to this day, was my favorite teacher.
    She was wonderful. So sorry about her passing. Heaven gained an Angel.

  4. Rest in peace Sr Arlene. Met you at St Timothy Catholic School in Chicago. Our children Roland & Melanie went to school there, late 70’s to late 80’s. Great teacher !!

  5. I love you, Sister. You were like a second mom to me when I was just starting out teaching. I will cherish so many beautiful memories of you and our time together. You have always been a beautiful soul and so dedicated to helping not only thousands and thousands of children, but those of us that you touched in daily life. I will miss you so much, Sister Arlene. Rest in peace.

  6. This sadness my heart greatly, she was a very important part of my childhood at Saint Timothy‘s grammar school. She always made a concerted effort to make sure all her students were happy! She always had a smile and a friendly hello. If ever you were sent to her office for unruly behavior she would treat you fairly. I will remember her fondly as one of the few adults who advocated for me as a child. Her impact on so many will carry her memory as an educator. May she rest in peace

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“Before all, and above all, attention shall be paid to the care of the sick, so that they shall be served as if they were Christ Himself.”
–St. Benedict of Nursia, The Rule of Saint Benedict