Cover photo for S. Madonna Schmitt's Obituary
S. Madonna Schmitt Profile Photo
1928 S. Madonna 2023

S. Madonna Schmitt

August 23, 1928 — March 20, 2023


S. Madonna Schmitt, age 94, died on Monday, March 20, 2023. A wake service will be held at 7:00 PM, on Thursday, March 23, 2023 and the Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 AM, on Friday, March 24, both in the Bishop Marty Memorial Chapel in Yankton, South Dakota. Burial will be in the monastery cemetery.  Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Yankton.

Donna Rose was born on the family farm on August 23, 1928, to Frank and Antoinette (Bartscher) Schmitt, and was the second of five children. She grew up on the farm one-half mile east of Epiphany, South Dakota, and attended St. Mary’s Catholic School until May 1942. On August 23, 1942, she entered Sacred Heart Monastery and attended Mount Marty High School. She graduated in the spring of 1945 and became a novice on June 23 receiving the name Madonna. Her first profession was June 24, 1946, and her final profession was June 24, 1950.

S. Madonna taught music in Webster, Zell, Hoven, Yankton, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and York, Nebraska. After a few years of teaching, she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Mount Marty College in 1959, and a Master of Music Education from the University of South Dakota in 1961. She also earned a Bachelor of Liturgical Music from the University of Montreal. For a time, she was the Director of Postulants for the Monastery and later became a Pastoral Minister for the Grand Island Diocese, Nebraska, and other parishes in Sioux Falls. Her ministry focus again changed after completing her Clinical Pastoral Education certification at Rochester Methodist Hospital in Minnesota. She was a Chaplain in Rochester and Cedar Rapids, Iowa until returning to the Monastery to be a temporary liturgist. Her later years were spent volunteering at Avera Sacred Heart and Mount Marty College.

S. Madonna was pensive, prayerful, and polite in all manner of her being. She readily acknowledged blessings in her life and found humor in the disruptions. She was devoted to her family and cared for those less fortunate than she. She had a passion for staying in touch with people by phone or writing letters and cards. She enriched her spirit by praying with sacred icons, a practice she developed after her retirement.

S. Madonna is survived by her Benedictine community and her sister, Janice Wermers. She is preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Duane (Rusty) Schmitt; and her sisters, Carol Bennett Dorsey and Shirley Eich.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of S. Madonna Schmitt, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Wake Service

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Starts at 7:00 pm

Bishop Marty Memorial Chapel

1005 W 8th St, Yankton, SD 57078

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Funeral Mass

Friday, March 24, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am

Bishop Marty Memorial Chapel

1005 W 8th St, Yankton, SD 57078


Click to watch

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