In Memoriam: Sister Joanna Trainer

Sister Joanna Trainer of Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand, Indiana, died at 10:40 a.m. on Saturday, January 22, 2022, at the monastery.

Sister Joanna was born Iona Marie Trainer on October 22, 1932 in Evansville, Indiana, the eldest of four children of Howard and Mary Charlotte (Wheatley) Trainer. She entered the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand in 1949 from St. Anthony Parish and made her monastic vows in 1951.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Robert Trainer; her brother William Trainer and sister-in-law Dorothy Faye (Kolb) Trainer; and her brother Jerome Trainer. She is survived by her sister-in-law, Dorothy Trainer; her sister-in-law Delores (Bittner) Trainer; her niece Christel (Trainer) Reising and husband Gary; her niece Dawn (Trainer) Hoesli and husband Jay; her niece Doretha (Trainer) Johnson; her niece Teresa (Trainer) Page and husband Gary; her niece, Mrs. Donald Gore and her husband; several cousins and her religious family.

Sister Joanna earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from St. Benedict College. She spent four summers at Cardinal Stritch College in Milwaukee while working at St. Coletta of Wisconsin, providing residential, day and vocational programs for those with developmental and other challenges.

She taught elementary and special education students for 34 years at Christ the King School in Indianapolis; St. Philip School in St. Philip; and St. Joseph School, Marian Day School, St. John School, St. Vincent Day Care Center, and St. Anthony School, all in Evansville. In 1982, she co-founded a soup kitchen. From 1982 through 2004, she served homeless women and children at House of Bread and Peace in Evansville, which she was instrumental in establishing. She also worked at the switchboard and as a mail clerk at the monastery in Ferdinand. In 2021, she celebrated 70 years as a Sister of St. Benedict.

Public visitation will be held in the Alumnae Center at Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand, Indiana, on Tuesday, January 25 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. and Wednesday, January 26 from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. A private vigil will be held in the monastery church on Tuesday, January 25 at 7:00 p.m. Family may view the vigil in the Alumnae Center; the public may view the vigil at Private Evening Prayer with Committal will held on Wednesday, January 26 at 4:30 p.m. with burial in the monastic cemetery following services. Family may view the services in the Alumnae Center; the public may view them at Social distancing and masks will be required for all. Becher Funeral Home in Ferdinand is in charge of the arrangements.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand.