Sister Lee Agnes Hodapp

Sister Lee Agnes Hodapp


Born to Life
September 20, 1943
Westphalia, Iowa

August 3, 1962

Born to Eternal Life
June 29, 2022
Sacred Heart Convent
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Mt. Olivet Cemetery
Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Sister Lee Agnes was born in Westphalia, Iowa, to Leo and Agnes Hodapp. She is the oldest of six: four brothers, Jim, Phil, Richard, and Dave, and her sister Ruth. She attended St. Boniface School for grades one through twelve in Westphalia, which was staffed by the School Sisters of St. Francis.

After graduating from St. Boniface High School, she joined the School Sisters of St. Francis in 1962. On Reception day, she received the name Sister Lee Agnes in honor of her Mom and Dad. She always said there were too many Joans – which was her baptismal name – so she kept her reception name that was given.

Sister Lee began her ministry as a high school science teacher in Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska. Her students credit her for inspiring them to choose careers as health professionals, in forestry work, and in wildlife conservation.

After over 15 years of teaching, she was called to work in the Archdiocesan Office of Youth Ministry.  She trained youth minsters in the Omaha Archdiocese for rural parishes. This ministry earned her the distinction of being called the “road warrior” who traveled the highways and byways of the Omaha Archdiocese.

Later, she received her certificate in spiritual and retreat direction from Creighton University. Later, our community called Sister Lee to take the role of vocation ministry. Her work with women searching for God’s call in their lives gave her more opportunities to use her skills to direct retreats.

Throughout the years, Sister Lee faced many health challenges but was always positive about her life’s journey. This year Sister Lee celebrated her 60th Jubilee. The class of 1962 was celebrated at Sacred Heart on June 3. Sister Lee received many cards from sisters and former students and enjoyed them thoroughly. One card gave a true picture of Sister Lee’s gift of teaching high school students. Sister taught this girl in 1973, and she wrote, “I was in your homeroom one year and have fond memories of being surrounded by experiments going on. My siblings also think of the dissection labs and hands-on learning that went on under your guidance. We enjoyed your teaching style and the memories of the days at Bergan High School.”

I had the privilege of living with Sister Lee for many years. We walked the journey through sickness and health. Her eight years of kidney dialysis were truly a challenge, but she fought the fight until the end on June 29. Sister Lee was preceded in death by her parents, Leo and Agnes; her aunt Sister Marie Hodapp; her great aunts, Sisters Carrissa and Antonita Hodapp; and Sister Crispina Rosmann. 

Sister Lee, I will always thank my God upon every remembrance of you. God has blessed you with a kind and loving heart, and has blessed all of us with knowing you. May you receive your eternal reward.

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Sister Lee Agnes

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Memories from Loved Ones, Friends & Colleagues

Sr. Lee Agnes was one of the most influential people in my life. At Archbishop Bergan, she was not only my biology teacher, but she asked me to be part of her home room my junior year, where she inherited all the new kids from other schools. She asked me and my friend, Jill, to be part of this because we were the “popular kids” and could make their acceptance easier. She always took me aside and told me I was special. She was right. So was she.

~ Jeffrey