Sister Donna Schmitt (Mary Angelita), CHM, 90, died October 25 at Bishop Drumm Care Center in Johnston, IA. Services at the Humility of Mary Center Magnificat Chapel, Davenport, IA, Rosary and Visitation at 4 p.m. on Friday, November 1, with Vigil Service at 7 p.m. Funeral Mass, Saturday, November 2, 11 a.m. in Magnificat Chapel with burial following at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Davenport.
Donna Jean Schmitt was born January 11, 1929, in Des Moines to Paul and Edna (Seuferer) Schmitt. She entered the Congregation of the Humility of Mary in 1947, professing vows in 1950.
Sister’s education included: AA in Elementary Education, Ottumwa Heights College, Ottumwa, IA; BA in English/Elementary Education from Marycrest College, Davenport, IA; MST in Science Teaching from Wisconsin State University, Superior. She also had classes at Louisiana State University and A. & M. College, Baton Rouge.
Sister Donna taught and was principal in elementary schools in Minnesota and Iowa for 36 years with more than ten at St. Theresa School, Des Moines. Other Iowa schools were Melrose Public, St. Patrick and St. Mary, Ottumwa, Sacred Heart, West Des Moines, St Mary, Oskaloosa and St. Henry, Marshalltown. In 1978 she received the National Catholic Education Association Presidential Award for outstanding service to Catholic Education especially through science teacher in-service programs. Other ministries included Assistant Housing Coordinator and Apartment Manager for Anawim Housing, Inc. in Des Moines. She served her community as Director of Humility of Mary Center, coordinator of the volunteer program, and on many community committees.
Sister Donna loved to explore spiritual teachings and offer help to less privileged persons. She spent years volunteering at Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville, leading the women in experiencing a deep connection between art and spirituality. In Des Moines, Sister Donna displayed patience and kindness as she helped PATH clients with mental health issues find value in work experiences. As a member of the New Hope experimental community, she prepared delicious meals on short notice and had a gift for hospitality. Her story telling brought delight and kept the community history alive and exciting.
In 2013 she retired to Humility of Mary Center until health concerns brought her to Bishop Drumm Care Center in 2017.
Survivors include her sisters, Pauline Cunningham and Margaret (Jon) Rielly, many nieces, nephews and cousins as well as sisters and associates of her CHM religious community. She was preceded in death by her parents, sisters Victoria Schmitt, Constance Eliott, Mary Ann Dost and Yvonne Younger, brothers Gerald, Robert, Joseph, John, Richard and Thomas Schmitt.
Memorials may be made to the Congregation of the Humility of Mary.
To send flowers to Sr. Donna Schmitt, CHM's family, please visit our floral section.