2007 Sister Evelyn Schwall

Ascended to Heaven

May 9, 2024

Sister Evelyn Schwall

Sister Evelyn Elizabeth Schwall (Sr. Miriam Joseph) of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon completed her life of joyful service, engaging teaching and faith-filled prayer at Maryville Care Center where she passed away on May 9, 2024.

Sr. Evelyn was born Nov. 29, 1927 in Nicolaus, California to Josephine and Albert Schwall. She was raised with her six siblings in St. Boniface Parish (Nicolaus, CA) and graduated from East Nicolaus High School in 1948.

Sr. Evelyn was employed at Bank of America in Sacramento until she entered the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon on Jan. 24, 1954 and became a SSMO novice on Aug. 15, 1954.

Sr. Evelyn continued her professional education at Marylhurst University (BA, 1968), Gonzaga University, and the University of Oregon (MS in Teaching, 1971). She also took classes at Portland State University (finance), Portland Community College (nursing assistant), and Yuba College in Marysville, CA (computer publishing).

Through her 40 years in education ministry, Sr. Evelyn’s passion was science – serving 12 years as a science teacher. During these years, she reconstructed the science lab at Tillamook Catholic High School and worked on the Archdiocese of Portland Catholic Schools Science and Health Curriculum Committee. She also served four years as a middle school teacher and two years as a principal/vice principal. 

Sr. Evelyn served in many Oregon Catholic Schools: St. Mary of the Valley High School, now Valley Catholic School (Beaverton), St. Boniface High School (Sublimity), Tillamook High School (Tillamook), Our Lady of Sorrows (Portland), St. Francis of Assisi (Roy), St. Pius X (Portland), St. Mary (Stayton), Sacred Heart (Gervais), and St. Matthew (Hillsboro). Her last years in education were teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

In order to be close enough to provide care for her mother, Sr. Evelyn ministered at St. Joseph Parish, Marysville, CA from 1990 to 1996 as the Parish Assistant responsible for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) and religious education programs. When she returned to SSMO, Sr. Evelyn resumed her previous (1985-1990) ministry at Maryville Care Center as part of the IT—Computer team. In 2007 she became a resident of Maryville Care Center. In the classroom, in the parish, and at Maryville, Sr. Evelyn’s words, actions and presence proclaimed God’s love for all.

One of Sr. Evelyn’s favorite scripture passages is Christ’s assurance that what is asked for in prayer will be received (Mark 11:24). She lived this as she prayed faithfully for family, Sisters, friends and others. Sr. Evelyn was a great storyteller. She could recreate moments with joyful humor and affirming narratives. She was also a talented and creative knitter. Sr. Evelyn’s love for others was tangible in the articles she knitted for others, especially items she made for people in need.

As a SSMO community member, Sr. Evelyn shared her domestic gifts, but was especially generous in her year of service as a nursing assistant in the SSMO Infirmary. Prayer, simplicity, sisterly love were the hallmarks of Sr. Evelyn’s life lived in joyful service of God.

Sr. Evelyn Schwall died on May 9, 2024. She is missed, loved and survived by her many nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, her Sisters in Community, and the attentive Maryville caregivers and nursing staff. She was preceded in death by her parents Albert and Josephine Schwall and her siblings: Robert, Anna, Lawrence, Harold, Ralph, and Sr. Alberta Schwall, SSMO.

Memorial gifts in Sr. Evelyn Schwall’s honor may be made to the American Cancer Society.

May Sister Ruth rest in God’s loving embrace.

Photos from Sister Evelyn’s life and ministry are available on our Flickr site.