Sister Alberta Dieker, OSB
July 23, 1920 - June 14, 2020
Born – July 23, 1920
Baptized– July 25, 1920
First Professed – February 10, 1942
Perpetual Profession – February 10, 1945
Entered Eternal Life – June 14, 2020
Sister Alberta Dieker, O.S.B., a long-time member of Queen of Angels Monastery, died in the early morning of June 14, 2020, on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, in the infirmary at Queen of Angels Monastery, Mount Angel, Oregon. She was 99 years old.
A private vigil will take place in the monastery chapel, 7 p.m., on Wednesday, June 24 and a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 25, 2020, with immediate family only, followed by her burial in the monastery cemetery.
Sister Alberta, born to Albert and Anna (Berg) Dieker, was raised in Fleming, Colorado and moved with her family to Mt. Angel in 1938 at the age of 18. She enrolled in Mt. Angel Normal School the following year, where she met the Benedictine Sisters. She entered Queen of Angels Monastery in 1939 and made her profession of vows on February 10, 1942. She began her teaching career as an elementary school teacher in Silverton and Mt. Angel. She earned undergraduate and master's degrees from St. Louis University, and a Ph.D. in European History from the University of Oregon. Sister Alberta Dieker, teacher and historian extraordinaire and faithful Benedictine woman, marked 78 years of Monastic Profession on February 10, 2020. She was admired and appreciated by her many students.
Sister Alberta is the author of A Tree Rooted in Faith: A History of Queen of Angels Monastery, which was published in 2007. Sister Alberta taught history and other subjects for 46 years at Mt. Angel College, Mt. Angel Seminary and Eastern Oregon College in La Grande. She also served in numerous leadership positions, including president of Mt. Angel College, prioress of her community for four years (1983 - 87), president and founding member of the Oregon Catholic Historical Society for nine years, and executive secretary of the American Benedictine Academy for six years. Sister Alberta received the 2006 Bishop Francis P. Leipzig Award for significantly contributing to the study of Catholic history in the Pacific Northwest. In 2007, she received a papal award, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, for her contributions to the Archdiocese. On May 5, 2019, during the commencement exercises for the University of Portland, Sr. Alberta was awarded an honorary degree from the Catholic university. She was the recipient of the university’s highest honor – the Christus Magister Medal – given in recognition of her life and work.
Through the years, Sister Alberta enjoyed bird watching; reading, enjoying and sharing poetry; reading, especially historical novels; playing cards (a favorite: pinochle) and games; knitting and crocheting. She knitted many beautiful sweaters that she gave away as gifts. When she taught and lived in La Grande, OR, she enjoyed cross country skiing, hiking, and back packing.
Sister Alberta was a walking encyclopedia and an amazing conversationalist. If you wanted an interesting, informative visit with someone who had seen a century of history and loved life, our community would name Sister Alberta as the one to visit.
Her siblings are Ralph of Tigard; Leonard and Patricia (Thompson) of Canby; Paul and Claudette (Kinder) of Silverton; Ruth Boedigheimer of Stayton; her deceased brothers, Edwin and Harold; and deceased sisters, Helen Schaefer, Dorothy Huber, and Frances Frey.
At her Jubilee celebration in 2017, Sister Alberta wrote: “I thank God and my parents for giving me life and these years. I consider them a gift. I am thankful for the strength and faith that have carried me over these years. I am grateful to my Benedictine Sisters, my family, friends, and students for being a part of my life, encouraging, supporting, and serving God with me.”
Gifts to the Benedictine Sisters Retirement Fund are graciously accepted in memory of Sr. Alberta. Gifts can be sent to Benedictine Sisters, 840 S. Main St., Mount Angel, OR 97362.