Benedictine Sister Armella Oblak, teacher, head nurse, administrator
Sister Armella Oblak, 88, died March 22 at the Benedictine Health Center.
Sister Armella (Dolores Regina) was born Oct. 12, 1927, in Soudan, the sixth of Frank and Mary Sophie (Erchul) Oblak’s nine children. She was in her 68th year of monastic profession.
Sister Armella entered St. Scholastica Monastery Jan. 6, 1946, made her first monastic profession July 11, 1947, and made her perpetual monastic profession July 11, 1950.
Her service included teaching second and third grades at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Duluth (1947-52), and fifth through eighth grades at St. Thomas, International Falls (1952-54). After completing a bachelor’s degree in nursing at the College of St. Scholastica in 1957, she served most of her adult life in health care from nursing (head nurse in labor and delivery at St. Mary’s Hospital, Duluth 1957-59; director of nursing 1968-72 at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Brainerd), to nursing instructor at the College of St. Scholastica (1959-64), to assistant administrator at Hibbing General Hospital (1972-78).
In 1978, Sister Armella helped to plan and open the Benedictine Health Center in Duluth. She became the first administrator at the BHC and served in that capacity from 1980 to 1989.
Sister Armella served as the first president/CEO of the Benedictine Health System Long-Term Care, Inc. in the Dakotas (six facilities) from 1989 to 1995. During those years she advocated and lobbied on behalf of the long-term care providers in North Dakota. Her advocacy bore fruit when the North Dakota legislature voted to improve funding for the long-term care providers.
Later she was director of hospitality at the monastery (1996-2010).
She was preceded in death by her brothers Frank and Cy and her sisters Mimi (Mary Veronica Vizanko), Julia (Julie Vogt), Rosalie Maxine (Aschenbach) and Anna Mae (Twitty).
She is survived by her sister Teresa Braatz of Benson, Ariz., and her brother Dennis Oblak of Bracketville, Texas, nieces, nephews and her Benedictine Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery, Duluth, and many friends.
Mass of Christian Burial was April 8 in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel at St. Scholastica Monastery. The Rite of Committal will be at Gethsemane Cemetery.
Memorials to St. Scholastica Monastery are preferred.