Franciscan Sister Mary Blase (Irene) Kulzer, 89, died Oct. 11 at St. Gabriel’s Hospital, Little Falls. A private burial service took place Oct. 13. A memorial Mass will be held at a later date with family and friends.
Irene Mary Kulzer was born Feb. 11, 1931, in Spring Hill to Roman and Adelinde (Terhaar) Kulzer, the second of nine children.
Irene spoke only German until she started in a one-room country school near Spring Hill. Her family later moved to Sauk Centre where she attended high school for two years and finished at St. Francis High School in Little Falls, graduating as a postulant in 1950. Irene was accepted as a Franciscan Sister of Little Falls July 31, 1950, and given the name Sister Mary Blase. She was a Franciscan Sister for 70 years.
Sister Blase was assigned to St. Otto’s Care Center in Little Falls for seven years and attended geriatric workshops at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. She was transferred to St. Francis Home in Breckenridge in 1959. She served there for 25 years, initially as a nursing floor manager, but later as activity director after obtaining her certificate as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. She was an active member of the American Occupational Therapy Association.
In 1986, Sister Blase moved to Little Falls where she participated in a renewal program, Wholistic Growth Resources. She served as house manager for that program for several years. She completed her ministry years at Clothes Review, a ministry for recycling used clothing and household items.
Sister Mary Blase is survived by siblings: Elsie Bromenshenkel, Janet, Roman, Junior (Mary), Sauk Centre; Annella (Alois) Clasemann, Cloquet; Marina (George) Blackwood, Cappell, Texas; Kathleen Angus, Wadena; sister-in-law, Karen, Rochester; nieces and nephews and her Franciscan Community. She was preceded in death by her parents and brothers David and Allen.
Donations preferred to Franciscan Sisters ministries.