Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Sister Barbara Gfeller

Nov. 14, 1926 - Nov. 28, 2018


December 20, 2018

Sister Barbara Gfeller

Sister Barbara Gfeller

Sister Barbara Gfeller (Sister Marion David), age 92, died at the Marie-Rose Center at Mary's Woods at Marylhurst in Lake Oswego, Nov. 28, 2018. A member of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary for 68 years, her funeral was held Dec. 13, 2018, in the Chapel of the Holy Names, Lake Oswego, Ore.

Daughter of Fred and Elizabeth Mettler Gfeller, Barbara grew up at the family farm home near Steptoe, Washington. In 1948, she entered the Sisters of the Holy Names and received the name Sister Marion David. Her first assignment as a teacher was Holy Names Academy, Seattle.

From childhood, Sister Barbara evidenced an immensely curious mind and a fascination with science. She earned several degrees in science, which eventually culminated in a doctorate in Biology (Developmental Genetics) from the University of Oregon. She had a long career in higher education in universities around the world, including Marylhurst College, Oregon; Bethlehem University, Israel; Heritage University, Toppenish, Wash .; and the College of the Marshall Islands.

Following her retirement, she lived until quite recently in The Dalles, Ore., where she volunteered with St. Vincent DePaul, St. Mary's School Library and Habitat for Humanity, and actively participated in the Holy Names Associate program with members in The Dalles area.

Sister Barbara is survived by her sister, Mary Stender, Cheney, Wash .; her brother, David Gfeller (Jo), Colfax, Wash .; numerous nieces and nephews; and the members of her religious community. Remembrances may be made to Sisters of the Holy Names, P.O. Box 398, Marylhurst, OR 97036 or online at http://www.snjmusontario.org/donate.


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