Teacher, historian Sister Alberta Dieker of Queen of Angels Monastery dies
Sister Alberta Dieker, a longtime member of Queen of Angels Monastery, died in the early morning of June 14 in the infirmary at the Mount Angel monastery. She was 99 years old.
A private vigil took place in the monastery chapel on June 24 followed by a Mass of Christian Burial June 25.
Dieker, born to Albert and Anna (Berg) Dieker, was raised in Fleming, Colorado, and moved with her family to Mount Angel in 1938 at the age of 18. She enrolled in Mount Angel Normal School the following year, where she met the Benedictine Sisters. She entered Queen of Angels Monastery in 1939 and made her profession of vows on Feb. 10, 1942, marking 78 years as a monastic this past February.
Dieker began her teaching career as an elementary school instructor in Silverton and Mount Angel. She earned undergraduate and master's degrees from St. Louis University, and a doctorate in European history from the University of Oregon. She was admired and appreciated by her many students.
Dieker is the author of "A Tree Rooted in Faith: A History of Queen of Angels Monastery," which was published in 2007. She taught history and other subjects for 46 years at Mt. Angel College, Mt. Angel Seminary and Eastern Oregon College in La Grande. She also served in numerous leadership positions, including president of Mt. Angel College, prioress of her community for four years (1983-87), president and founding member of the Oregon Catholic Historical Society for nine years, and executive secretary of the American Benedictine Academy for six years.
Dieker received the 2006 Bishop Francis P. Leipzig Award for significantly contributing to the study of Catholic history in the Pacific Northwest. In 2007, she received a papal award, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, for her contributions to the archdiocese. On May 5, 2019, during the commencement exercises for the University of Portland, Dieker was awarded an honorary degree from the Catholic university. She was the recipient of the university's highest honor — the Christus Magister Medal — given in recognition of her life and work.
Through the years, Dieker enjoyed bird-watching; enjoying and sharing poetry; reading, especially historical novels; playing cards (a favorite was pinochle) and games; knitting and crocheting. She knitted many beautiful sweaters that she gave away as gifts. When she taught and lived in La Grande, she enjoyed cross-country skiing, hiking and backpacking.
Dieker was a walking encyclopedia and an amazing conversationalist. If you wanted an interesting, informative visit with someone who had seen a century of history and loved life, the community would name Dieker as the one to visit.
Her siblings are Ralph of Tigard; Leonard and Patricia (Thompson) of Canby; Paul and Claudette (Kinder) of Silverton; Ruth Boedigheimer of Stayton; her deceased brothers, Edwin and Harold; and deceased sisters, Helen Schaefer, Dorothy Huber, and Frances Frey.
At her Jubilee celebration in 2017, Dieker wrote: "I thank God and my parents for giving me life and these years. I consider them a gift. I am thankful for the strength and faith that have carried me over these years. I am grateful to my Benedictine Sisters, my family, friends and students for being a part of my life, encouraging, supporting and serving God with me."
Gifts to the Benedictine Sisters Retirement Fund are graciously accepted in memory of Sr. Alberta Dieker. Gifts can be sent to Benedictine Sisters, 840 S. Main St., Mount Angel, OR 97362.
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