Catching Up with Father Stack's Housekeeper

A friend and I saw your article about Lois Mansberger in The Rake [“Tomb of the Unknown Domestic,” June]. It struck us both to the core. As we talked about Lois more and more, we decided we needed to make a pilgrimage to her grave. We invited two other women friends we knew would want to honor Lois because she was a woman, a nurse, and a veteran. The long quote from the pope galled us. The four of us are professional women from the late fifties to late seventies—two retired and two still working.

On July 13, we set out from St. Paul for Glenwood City at 10:30 a.m. We conjectured about Lois and her life the whole way. There are so many twists that her story could take—of course, the first being her relationship with Stack. We brought flowers to her grave, and we each came prepared with a poem and a personal note to her. We also each brought a stone (one brought a shell) from our garden. We had a memorial service for Lois to honor the above-mentioned gifts that Lois gave to the world.

We had brought a picnic that we intended to take to a park after the service we had for Lois. However, the view in the cemetery was so lovely that we found a shady grove of trees and stayed there. We set up our folding chairs, brought out the food and wine, and stayed until 5:00 p.m.

It was a wonderful day. We were able to celebrate this forgotten woman’s life because of your article. Thank you!

Sharen Hansen, St. Paul

Sharen Hansen