In Memoriam

Sister Rita (M. Melania) Yahl
November 1922 — July 12, 2018

Resurrection liturgy for Precious Blood Sister Rita (M. Melania) Yahl was held at the Salem Heights chapel on Monday, July 16. Sister Rita died at the Maria-Joseph Center in Dayton on Thursday, July 12. She had been a Sister of the Precious Blood for over 75 years.

Rita was a gifted person who loved life. She loved being with her family, her Sisters and her many friends.

The daughter of Joseph and Martha (Greve) Yahl, Rita was born in St. Marys, Ohio, in November 1922. She was the oldest of 12 children. Her family were members of Holy Rosary Parish and all the children attended Holy Rosary School.

On August 3, 1941, Rita entered the Sisters of the Precious Blood and as a novice received the name of Sister Mary Melania (many years later she returned to using her baptismal name).

Rita received a Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Dayton and a master’s in education with a major in home economics and a special concentration in vocational home economics from St. Louis University.

Sister Rita taught 17 years in elementary schools in Arizona, North Dakota and Ohio. Then she enjoyed 25 years teaching home economics at Marion Local High School in Maria Stein and also served as principal for two years at St. Patrick School in Bellefontaine, Ohio.

While teaching at Marion Local, Rita assisted in the ministry at the Retreat House and Shrine. She made numerous baptismal gowns and doll clothes as well as other creative items.

Sister Rita retired in 1986 and volunteered at the Shrine continuing with her sewing skills, friendly hospitality and prayer. Rita remarked that she found these years grace-filled — still serving and sharing life and prayer with her Sisters. In 2006 Rita moved to Salem Heights and was grateful for her life with her Sisters which included daily Mass, prayer and companionship. She admitted to being competitive and very much appreciated card games with her Sisters and family in spite of her diminishing eyesight. She also enjoyed fishing and traveling. One of Rita’s favorite memories was when she spent a month in the house of prayer at St. Joseph Center in Tiffin.

In August 2016, when Rita celebrated her 75th jubilee, she received numerous congratulatory and grateful messages on Facebook, many of those from her students who fondly remember her.

Preceding her in death were her parents and her brothers and sisters: Rose Braun, Irene Doseck, Jerome Yahl, Mary Braun, William Yahl, Anthony Yahl and Emma Clements. She is survived by her Precious Blood Sisters and her family: Joe and Connie Yahl, Gene and Janice Yahl, Bob Yahl, Clara Lenhart and numerous nieces and nephews and friends.

Interment took place in the Salem Heights Cemetery.

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