A funeral Mass for Sister Frieda Rode was celebrated June 1 at The Sarah Community in Bridgeton. Sister Frieda died May 21 at her home at The Sarah Community. She was 104 years old and had been a Franciscan Sister of Mary for 78 years.
Frieda Alma Rode was born April 23, 1918, in Coles Creek, near Hermann, Missouri, the sixth of eight children born to Joseph F. and Alma A. (Gaebler) Rode. She entered the Sisters of St. Mary on Dec. 5, 1944; she received the name Sister Alma Marie, and professed final vows on June 5, 1950.
After completing elementary school, she worked at home, then at International Shoe Company for seven years. She moved to St. Louis and worked for McDonnell Aircraft, living with her sister until she joined the Sisters of St. Mary. She completed high school at St. Mary of the Angels, then took a number of business and accounting classes at Saint Louis University.
She worked in the business office at St. Mary’s Hospital from 1950-63, spending about 18 months as treasurer of the admissions office at Mount St. Rose as well. From 1963-70, she served as comptroller of the new St. Clare Hospital in Baraboo, Wisconsin.
She managed the business office at St. Mary’s Hospital in Jefferson City, Missouri, and was director of the community there (1970-75).
After serving at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center (1975-77), she served as executive director of the motherhouse. She served in this capacity until 1982.
From 1982 until Oct. 30, 2009, she worked as an accountant for the congregation’s corporate Finance Office. When she retired at the age of 91, she was handling Medicare claims for the sisters.
In 2010, Sister Frieda moved to The Sarah Community. Her early years of poverty led her to a life of quiet simplicity and gratitude. Never one to call attention to herself, she knew the value of work and the importance of not letting “things” interfere with her prayer life. Her faithful service proved an example and a rock to many.
She is survived by a brother, Oscar Rode of Washington. Burial was in Calvary Cemetery.