Sister with School Sisters of St. Francis returns for visit to roots
The landscape has changed greatly since the time that Sister Charla Buening left Waupun Memorial Hospital Food Service as a dietary aide in her work with the School Sisters of St. Francis, which at one time sponsored the hospital.
In fact, it has been 45 years since S. Charla provided a warm smile and good service at Waupun Memorial Hospital. But, she recently returned to be a guest of the hospital for a special lunch with fellow associates that still serve Food Service needs at Waupun Memorial Hospital, including Barb Teletzke (48 years) and Marcia Buteyn (46 years). They were also joined by Teletzke’s sister - also a former associate - Karen Ritterbusch.
The visit brought back many memories for the group back to a time when the kitchen was staffed in part by School Sisters of St. Francis, including Sisters Remi Lauer, Victoria Marie Ziegler and Berthildis Zilla.
Recollections are fast and furious. Moving from black habits to white clothing. No air conditioning in the kitchen. Sisters living on the hospital’s second floor. Apple orchards for fresh pies, breads and cakes.
“I really enjoyed cooking here,” recalls S. Charla. “I enjoyed the people I worked with; I was pretty young at the time. We lived and worked here, generally from five in the morning to seven at night. We started in the chapel, prayed and attended mass. Then, we baked all day.”
S. Charla remembers everyone in the kitchen taking a break daily at nine, where special snacks were wheeled in for them to enjoy.
Back then, the team was serving meals to more than 300 people between patients, staff and physicians. “We had separate kitchens on each nursing floor,” according to S. Charla. “We would take our carts from the main kitchen to each floor and dish up the patient meals to deliver one at a time.”
After that time, the kitchen work was centralized and tray lines were set up.
“It was very enjoyable to see the patients, talk with them about their diets and work to meet their needs,” S. Charla says.
Following her time at Waupun Memorial Hospital, S. Charla began service at the Villa Clement Nursing Home in Milwaukee (a non-profit organization sponsored by the School Sisters of St. Francis). She now resides in Campbellsport. In addition, S. Remi also resides in Campbellsport at the St. Joseph’s Convent.
Photo caption: Sister Charla Buening (left), who previously served at Waupun Memorial Hospital in Food Service as a dietary aide, came back for a visit with fellow associates that still serve Food Service needs, including Barb Teletzke (second from left) and Marcia Buteyn (right). They were also joined by Teletzke’s sister - also a former associate - Karen Ritterbusch (third from left).