Benedictine Sister Ione (Jeffrey) Jesh, 82, died at St. Cloud Hospital Sunday, Feb. 9. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at Sacred Heart Chapel, St. Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, with burial in the monastery cemetery.
Friends may call at St. Scholastica Convent Wednesday, Feb. 12, for a prayer service at 1 p.m., followed by visitation until 4:15 p.m., or for a vigil prayer service at 7 p.m. at St. Benedict’s Monastery. Visitation continues at 9 a.m. until the time of the funeral Feb. 13.
Ione Jesh was born July 7, 1937, to Othmar and Marcella (Winter) Jesh in Albany. She was third in her family, having one brother and three sisters. She attended Holy Family Grade School and Albany High School in Albany. She entered St. Benedict’s Monastery Sept. 12, 1957, was received into the novitiate as Sister Jeffrey June 17, 1958, made first monastic profession July 11, 1959, and perpetual monastic profession July 11, 1962. She reverted to her baptismal name in 1968.
Education was a passion for Sister Ione. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a minor in philosophy and a second bachelor’s degree in social studies at the College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph. She served as an educator in various places in Minnesota: in Wadena, Long Prairie, Sauk Rapids, Sauk Centre and in St. Cloud at St. Augustine’s, St. Paul’s and Cathedral High School. At Cathedral High School, she also served as dean of students.
At St. Benedict’s Monastery, she was assistant director of the physical plant, director of transportation and a member of the formation community living group, helping to guide women through the first years of monastic life. From 2009-2018, she served as manager of Whitby Gift Shop and Gallery. In 2018, she began service as a communications associate in the Mission Advancement Department, a position she held until the time of her death.
In addition to the members of her Benedictine community, Sister Ione is survived by her brother, David (Long Prairie) and sisters, Annette Meyer (Naperville, Illinois) and Diane Schwinghammer (Rochester, Minnesota), and by nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Louise.
Please direct memorial gifts to the Sisters of the Order of St. Benedict Outreach Ministries.