Sister St. Martin Distel; 1935-2013: Ursuline nun taught, aided homebound


Sister St. Martin Distel, who was dedicated to her ministry as a home health aide after 35 years teaching in Roman Catholic schools around northwest Ohio, died Wednesday in the Ursuline Center. She was 78.

She had Alzheimer’s disease, Ursuline Sister Kathleen Padden said.

Sister St. Martin entered the Ursuline Convent in 1953 and received a bachelor’s degree in education from the former Mary Manse College. Teaching assignments that followed took her to schools at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, St. Thomas Aquinas, Rosary Cathedral parishes and St. Angela Hall, all in Toledo, and to St. Joseph School in Tiffin and St. Gerard School in Lima, Ohio.

As a health aide until about two years ago, she provided health-care and cleaning services in homes.

“She was devoted to the homebound elders,” Sister Kathleen said. “She was particularly helpful to people who wanted to stay in their homes.”

The former Martha Distel was born in 1935 to Cora and Arthur Distel. She attended Calvert High School in Tiffin.

A sister, Sister Joan of Arc Distel, also was in the Ursuline community and taught in the northwest Ohio Catholic schools. Sister Joan of Arc died Sept. 30, 2005.

Surviving are her brothers, Robert, James, and John Distel, and sister, Agnes Zeiger.

Visitation is to begin at 3 p.m. today in the Ursuline Center, with vigil services at 6:30 p.m. Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the Ursuline Center.

Tributes are suggested to the Ursuline Convent of the Sacred Heart.