Sister Armella Oblak, 88, died peacefully March 22, 2016 at the Benedictine Health Center.
Sister Armella (Dolores Regina) was born October 12, 1927, in Soudan, MN, the sixth of Frank and Mary Sophie (Erchul) Oblak’s nine children. She was in her 68th year of Monastic Profession.
Sister Armella entered St. Scholastica Monastery on January 6, 1946, made her first monastic profession on July 11, 1947, and her perpetual monastic profession on July 11, 1950.
Sister Armella took seriously the call to be a hospitable presence to others. Her service included teaching 2nd and 3rd grades at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Duluth (1947-1952) and 5th-8th grade at St. Thomas, International Falls (1952-1954). After completing a B.S. in Nursing at the College of St. Scholastica in 1957, she served most of her adult life in health care from nursing (head nurse in Labor and Delivery at St. Mary’s Hospital, Duluth 1957-1959; director of nursing 1968-1972 at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Brainerd), to nursing instructor at the College of St. Scholastica (1959-1964) to Assistant Administrator at Hibbing General Hospital (1972-1978). While Sister Armella served as head nurse in Labor and Delivery, at St. Mary’s Hospital, many mothers decided to name their babies Armella.
In 1978, Sister Armella helped to plan and open the Benedictine Health Center in Duluth. She became the first administrator at the BHC and served in that capacity from 1980-1989.
Following her tenure at the BHC, Sister Armella served as the first President/CEO of the Benedictine Health System Long-Term Care, Inc. in the Dakotas (6 facilities) from 1989-1995. During those years she advocated/lobbied on behalf of the long-term care providers in North Dakota. Her advocacy bore fruit when the North Dakota legislature voted to improve funding for the long-term care providers.
Sister Armella will be remembered for her hospitable personality, which served the Community and guests during her service as Director of Hospitality at the Monastery (1996-2010).
She was preceded in death by her brothers Frank and Cy and her sisters Mimi (Mary Veronica Vizanko), Julia (Julie Vogt), Rosalie Maxine (Aschenbach) and Anna Mae (Twitty).
She is survived by her sister Teresa Braatz of Benson, AZ and her brother Dennis Oblak of Bracketville, TX, nieces, nephews and her Benedictine Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery, Duluth, MN, and many friends.
Wake service and morning prayer: 9:30 a.m. Friday, April 8, in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel, St. Scholastica Monastery. Visitation will follow until the 11 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial with Father Peter Lambert presiding. The Rite of Committal will be at Gethsemane Cemetery.
Memorials to St. Scholastica Monastery are preferred.