Sister Lisa grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, graduating from St. Joseph High School then working at Union Pacific Railroad Headquarters. After years of traveling on her “much-appreciated railroad passes,” Sister Lisa felt something was missing. At the age of 28, she entered the Sisters of Mercy.
Sister Lisa graduated from College of Saint Mary in Omaha, where she received her B.A. in English. She also attended Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.; Metro Community College; and Creighton University, where she studied pastoral ministry.
She once wrote, “I guess you might consider me a ‘Generalist.’ My experiences have been extremely varied. I did social work when needed. I have been a substitute teacher on the college level and taught first through eighth grades.” She also kept the books at a small hospital and at a nursing home when Medicare was first introduced. She worked in practically every department at a mental health hospital doing secretarial work.
While she lived most of her life in Omaha, Sister Lisa also went wherever the community most needed her. She spent a few years in Oregon, first at St. Catherine Residence in North Bend and then at McAuley Hospital in Coos Bay. She also ministered in Sacramento, California, at St. Patrick’s Home as a house mother. She moved to Mercy Villa in October 1999.
Sister Monica Reichmuth, who served as Sister Lisa’s personal contact, said, “One of the things I loved most about Sister Lisa was how she would light up when I came into her room. Her big, beautiful blue eyes were always shining.”