Sister Estelle Panger celebrated her 100th birthday April 1, one day after her actual birthday, which was March 31st, Easter Sunday. Benet Hall friends joined relatives to congratulate Sister Estelle on this milestone. Celebrating with Sister Estelle were her niece Estelle Anderson and great-niece Robin Johnson and also her nephew Brad Johnson and his wife Lois.
Sister Estelle was born in Cloquet, Minnesota, March 31, 1913, the seventh child of Fred and Jennie Panger. She attended Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School in Cloquet and high school at the Villa in Duluth. During her senior year she entered the Benedictine community, as had her two siblings, Sister Eunice and Sister Alicia.
Sister’s ministry began with teaching in the elementary schools in Duluth, Brainerd, Cincinnati, and Minneapolis for 23 years. She then became a registered occupational therapist and served as department head of Occupational Therapy at St. Mary’s Medical Center for 22 years. She then began the first Occupational Therapist program at the Benedictine Health Center.
In her retirement years Sister Estelle enjoyed knitting, crocheting, rug-weaving, and tatting. She is now on hospice care in the Monastery infirmary.