Cover photo for Sr. Mary Miguel Gassmann, Rsm's Obituary
Sr. Mary Miguel Gassmann, Rsm Profile Photo
2020 Sr. Mary 2020

Sr. Mary Miguel Gassmann, Rsm

April 2, 2020 — November 3, 2020


Sister Miguel was born April 2, 1920, in Valley City, North Dakota, to parents Thomas and Barbara (Beck) Gassmann. She recalled seeing a Sister of Mercy dressed in white when she was in the third grade. "That's what I am going to be someday," she told herself, and she never veered away from her resolve.

In 1937, she traveled to Mount Loretto Novitiate in Council Bluffs, Iowa, to enter the religious community. Sister Miguel earned her nursing degree from St. Catherine Hospital in Omaha, ministering first as a nurse and wearing the white nurse's habit that she had admired as a young girl. She worked as a floor supervisor while studying for her bachelor's degree at Omaha's College of Saint Mary.

In the late 1940s, Sister Miguel was called to serve as the director of the school of nursing; first, at Mercy Hospital in Devils Lake, North Dakota; and then to Mercy Hospital in Denver, Colorado, where she served for 15 years. After earning her master's in hospital administration from St. Louis (MO) University, she assumed the title of administrator while in Denver.

Sister Miguel moved back to the Omaha area in 1962 to serve as administrator of St. Catherine's for one year. She then went to Mercy Hospital Council Bluffs, where she spent 14 years. While in Council Bluffs, she oversaw much of the hospital's expansion into a regional medical center.

Sister Miguel took a three-year hiatus in the early 1980s to go home to North Dakota to care for her mother, who, like herself, lived to be 100. Again she returned to Omaha in 1983 to serve at Archbishop Bergan Mercy Hospital as the patient representative. In 1992, Sister Miguel joined Bergan Mercy's mission services staff in what was known then as their Porch Ministry - the early beginnings of in-home healthcare. She did this for 17 years until retiring at the age of 89.

Sister Miguel was a board member of four hospitals in Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri. She was also a fellow of the American College of Hospital Administrators. She was one of three women religious honored in 1996 by Alegent Health for significantly influencing healthcare in the Omaha area.

Always faithfully living her motto, What Would Christ Do Now, Sister Miguel once said, "I feel blessed that I have been able to be involved in the healing ministry, whether it was through nursing patients, hospital administration, pushing a wheelchair, or simply providing a gentle touch for someone who is hurting."

Sister Patricia Forret said, "Sister Miguel was blessed with a long life, lots of friends, and numerous accomplishments, particularly in the field of healthcare."

Sister Pat continues, "Linda Ellis' poem, The Dash, calls attention to the three markings on every tombstone: date of birth, date of death, and the seemingly insignificant little line (known as The Dash) between these two dates. Ellis describes the dash as the most important because it represents the time that a person spent alive on this earth. As Ellis reminds us, "Those who loved Sister Miguel know all that the little line (the Dash) is worth."

Preceded in death by parents, Thomas and Barbara Gassmann; brothers, Joseph, Edward John and Albert Gassmann.

Survived by Her loving sisters of the Sisters of Mercy; nieces, JoAnn (Randy) Dalhoff, Mary (Timothy) Reichert, Anne (Alan) Rosenfeld, Rita Gassmann; nephew, James (Bonnie): great nieces and nephews, Margaret, John, David, Philip,and Anne and many good friends.

Due to the pandemic. PRIVATE GRAVESIDE SERVICES Fri (11-20) Resurrection Cemetery.

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