Sister Martha (Jeanette) Bechtold, age 86, died on May 1, 2023 at St. Scholastica Monastery in her 65th year of consecrated life. She was born February 26, 1937 to Lawrence and Hildegard (Feneis) Bechtold in Luxemburg, Minnesota, to a loving family of 12 children.
Sister Martha’s love of children and creative play suited her well for her first ministry as an elementary school teacher. She went on to serve as Director of McCabe Renewal Center, Director of Oblates and Associates, and Director of Monastery facilities, which she described as “caring for everything that is not eternal.” She made several trips to the Monastery’s “twin” Benedictine community in Tanzania and enjoyed reciting the Lord’s Prayer in Swahili.
She was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers, Lawrence (Karen) and Benedict (Joan) Bechtold; and brothers-in-law, Fred Reker, Don Prom, and Ron Skudlarek. She is survived by her brothers, Leonard (Marcia), Roger (Nell), George (Marshia), and Eugene (Kathy) Bechtold; sisters Rita Reker, Mary Prom, Hilde (Kerry) Manuel, Rose Skudlarek, and Millie (Leonard) Brunn; many nieces and nephews; and her Benedictine Community.
Wake/Morning Prayer (9:30 a.m.), and funeral Mass (11:00 a.m.) will be held on Monday, May 8 in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel at the Monastery, with her nephews Reverends Mitchell Bechtold and Nathan Brunn presiding. Interment at Gethsemane Cemetery. Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home. Livestreaming begins at 9:30 a.m. on Dougherty Facebook page: https://facebook.com/dfhduluth/. Memorials preferred to St. Scholastica Monastery.