Sister Margaret died peacefully, about 8 p.m. Friday evening, May 6, 2016. She was 95 and she lived in Holy Family Health Care Center at Victory Noll, Huntington, Indiana.
Sister Margaret was born in Chicago, Ill., on August 24, 1920, the first child and only girl of Nicholas and Nora (Weber) Urhausen. She was baptized August 29, 1920, at St. Henry's Catholic Church. She had three younger brothers, Emil, Nicholas and John. All precede her in death.
Sister Margaret entered the Congregation of Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters on October 30, 1940, and made first vows on August 5, 1943. Her first mission was in South Bend, Ind., and then Detroit, Mich., before she moved west to California in 1950 where she served in Azusa, Monterey, San Fernando and Montclair. In 1963 she moved to Montrose, Colo., and worked there until 1969 when she was moved to East Chicago, Ind., to complete her education at St. Joseph Calumet College in 1971. She then moved to Las Vegas, N.M., and later she served in Cheyenne and Upton, Wyo. During four summers she attended Incarnate Word College in San Antonio, Tex., and in 1975 received her certificate in Pastoral Ministries. After many years in ministry in the West she returned to Victory Noll in 1989 to volunteer in a variety of ways until she fully retired in 2002. In 2015, she celebrated 75 years of living as a Victory Noll Sister.
Sister Margaret was given the name of Sister Mary Nicholas and several sisters shared how that name fit her. The "Nicholas" reminded them of Saint Nicholas who is said to have been jolly and very giving. Sister Margaret was remembered as being filled with happiness, joy and fun to be with, even when doing less-than-fun activities like washing windows or cleaning the kitchen. Very giving and as house or local superior, Sister Margaret was kind and gentle. She was a compassionate, quiet presence and her smile often put people at ease. She helped many get through some tough situations with her wonderful sense of humor, and she would find ways to make dull tasks enjoyable.
Sister Margaret taught religious education, and in her last mission outside of Victory Noll, in Upton, Wyo., she served as a companion to Sister Mildred Weber. Twice she was missioned to Victory Noll, from 1977-79 and then when she returned in 1989, where she shared her expertise in the Holy Family kitchen, laundry, various household duties and sewing. She was always ready to be of assistance and no task was too small or unimportant. She was willing to do the little, behind-the-scenes details that make any event or routine run smoothly.
Sister Margaret's family owned a nursery in Lincolnwood, Ill., just outside of Chicago. She and Father Fahey would often sit and talk about flowers. It was a joy to both of them to discuss the latest varieties of flowers and plants.
The Victory Noll community gathered Monday evening May 9, 2016, for Sister Margaret's wake. Two of Sister Margaret's nieces, Julia Urhausen and Mary Turano, along with Mary's husband Carl, joined the community for Sister Margaret's funeral liturgy on Tuesday May 10, 2016.
Father Dale Bauman presided at the funeral liturgy. Father Dale broke open the reading from John's gospel about "unless a grain of wheat is planted and dies, it will not bear fruit." He talked about how Sister Margaret was planted and bore much fruit with her gentle way and her wonderful sweet smile. There are countless people who had their faith strengthened by her presence and example. No one really knows how much wheat is produced by one grain, neither does anyone know the bounty from a life lived with love and integrity.
Just as Sister Margaret lived in this life, focusing on the small details and peacefully going about her daily activities, and that is how she died. She left us peacefully, with no fanfare or urgency, just slipping into the open embrace of her merciful and loving God, finding her dwelling place.