Sr. Carlene Unser Tributes
Sr. Carlene was a wonderful and devoted teacher, artist and human being. May she rest in peace.
-Tim Gibbons '88
I transferred to Viterbo midway through my junior year in Art Ed., and was lucky to run into S. Carlene almost immediately!!!! She was so welcoming, helpful & sweet that she made my transition an easy one. I have such a wonderful memory of many happy hours weaving on the Art floor w/ other happy art students, and being welcomed back on every visit to Viterbo after graduation. She was a sweetheart, and left this world a better place for her having shared her life/talents with us!
-Sandra Stingl '78
I will remember her fondly as one of the best teachers I ever had.
-Jonathan Florin '15
I arrived at Viterbo a lost country girl. Sr. Carlene was assigned to a small group for orientation which I was lucky enough to be assigned to. First I had never talked with a professor or a nun informally. She was not scary but had the biggest smile I had ever seen on an adult. I can not remember a single thing she told me during that group but I do remember her warmth and welcome to a new world. I hope that she has as wonderful a welcome to her new world.
- Bessie Richardson '79
Having had the opportunity to share community living with Sr. Carlene over the past 8 years, she was not only a companion but a loving friend who found the good in everyone and help guide me on my journey in religious life. Her love for life was palpable and she lived it to its fullest. Creative, talented and artistic as well as always finding the beauty in everything while living as a true Franciscan. Heaven has gained a beautiful angel and my life has truly been enriched by her presence in it. Thank You my friend and may you now know the blessings of good health, living a new life embraced by a God who loves you. We will continue to hold the beautiful memories you have created for us. Living community with Sr. Carlene over the past 8yrs have been filled with grace, dignity, compassion and love...all qualities this beautiful soul possessed. Welcoming a stranger with open arms and a hug were gifts she shared with all and the love she had for family, students, collegues and her Franciscan community of Sisters could not be measured. She was a woman of small statue but a heart bigger than words can explain. However after 96yrs. God saw her body was tired and weak after living each day to its fullest and called her Home to a new life. Rest in Peace my friend....you are loved by many.
- Dawn Kutt, FSPA '87
Sister Carlene was one of the first people I met at Viterbo. Leary and uncertain, and a non-Catholic, she put my mind to rest immediately that I had made the right decision to transfer to Viterbo. I carry a piece of Viterbo with me every day and I liken it to a spirit like hers. Her smiles were contagious, she had a great outlook on life and always seemed to enjoy what she did. Sister Carlene always had a kind word to say to others. She certainly exemplified the Viterbo spirit! She was definitely a part in carving my path in life.
- Linda Aarness-Gluch '91, '98
Sr. Carlene was the most loving person I have ever met. I have many great memories of the hours spent at the loom. She was always there to encourage and support. She was also a pillar of the faith community at Viterbo that made everyone feel so welcome.
- Mike Woodson '83
1995 was the last time I took a class from Sr. Carlene. I was a nursing student, not an art major. Therefore I didn't expect to be a memorable student for her. 20 years later I had the opportunity to go to mass at St. per convent. Walking out of church afterward I heard her very distinctive sweet voice. I approached her just to say hello. I began to say to her, I'm sure you don't remember me, but..." Sr. Carlene looked at me and with her beautiful smile said "Well hello Cherie!" She went on to recall a weaving that I had done those 20 years ago. What an amazing example of being present for this world.
- Cherie BurroughsScanlon '96
Sr. Carlene welcomed me as a non-traditional student and her big smile put me at ease immediately. She helped me register, was my advisor, mentor, and I had the honor of taking weaving and art education classes from her. She was always laughing, joyful, running circles around the twenty something's. We always kept in touch and she even swung by my job as an art teacher in 2009 to deliver a hand woven baby blanket to my soon to be born son. She was an amazing woman and I'm so lucky to have known her. She will be missed.
- Monica Treu-Olbert '97
How does one say "goodbye" to someone with the kindness and influence of Sister Carlene? By starting with how we said "hello" this past January. My youngest daughter was performing with her high school show choir at the Viterbo Fine Arts Center. By chance, I decided to drive to Villa St. Joseph in hopes of visiting with Sister Carlene. I was so anxious for this visit, because it was over 30 years since I saw her. She came to the visitor room and the minute she entered, we embraced each, shared a tear or two, and began sharing stories; the 30 year time lapse just melted away. I wanted to remember every little bit of that day, and I have. We walked the Villa together and she showed me her current weaving and paintings. We shared stories of our teaching experiences, our families, and memories of our days when she was my art educator advisor, and professor. We ended the visit with a hug that wrapped us in both time and space, as I said, "I love you", and she answered, "I love you too". May the peace and unconditional love you shared with so many in your beautiful life, be yours forever in Heaven.
- Jann Kunstman
Sr, Carlene was the floor monitor and was a very joyous person. We spent many hours doing jigsaw puzzles and just talking about everything.
- Barbara Steponkus '70