A Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Marie Elizabeth “Liz” Koehler, RSM, was celebrated Jan. 23 at Catherine’s Residence, the retirement center for the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, in Frontenac. Sister Liz died Jan. 18 at the age of 73.
Born Jan. 25, 1949, in Little Rock, Arkansas, Sister Liz was the eldest of seven children born to Robert L. Koehler Sr. and Mary Ellen (Penny) Koehler. She graduated from St. Edward Elementary School in 1963 and Mt. St. Mary’s in 1967, both in Little Rock. After graduating from “the Mount,” she entered the Sisters of Mercy novitiate in St. Louis. Continuing her education, Sister Liz earned a bachelor’s degree in social studies in 1973 from Maryville College in St. Louis, with an elementary education certificate. While continuing in her ministry, she earned a master’s degree in counseling in 1986 at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg and a certificate in spiritual direction in 1997 from Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis.
Sister Liz’s call to self-sacrifice and service sustained her through teaching at Christ the King School in Fort Smith, Arkansas; St. Patrick School in Meridian, Mississippi; St. Joan of Arc School in St. Louis; serving as a child care worker at Mercita Hall in St. Louis; parish ministry at St. Richard Church in Jackson, Mississippi; spiritual director in Little Rock; and bereavement coordinator at Mercy medical facilities in Hot Springs, Arkansas and Springfield, Missouri.
She is survived by her sisters, Clara (Koehler) Smith of Little Rock and Michelle (Koehler) Haydel, of North Little Rock; and her brothers, Robert L. Koehler, Jr. of Sherwood, Arkansas, Duane Koehler of Miami, Oklahoma and Kenneth Koehler of Fayetteville, Arkansas.