May They Rest in Peace: Sr. Mary Rosita Schiller, RSM

Sr. Mary Rosita Schiller, RSM, (nee Margaret Anne) a Sister of Mercy for 68 years, died at the age of 87 on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, at St Mary's Hospital.

She was the fifth of seven children born to Edmund and Julia (Greiner) Schiller, in New Era, Michigan. At the age of 16 she joined the Sisters of Mercy in Detroit and professed vows on August 16, 1955. She graduated from Mount Mercy Academy, earned a bachelor's degree from Mercy College of Detroit, and completed her dietetic internship at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit. She earned a Master of Science degree from Michigan State University, and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University (OSU), Columbus.

Sr. Mary Rosita Schiller, RSM
Sr. Mary Rosita Schiller, RSM

She began her career as a hospital dietitian in Manistee and Lansing, Michigan and in 1966 she joined the faculty at Mercy College of Detroit. In the post-Vatican II era when policies in religious orders changed, she received permission from her superiors to take a position as Director of Medical Dietetics, School of Allied Medical Professions, at The Ohio State University. After teaching for 35 years, she retired from OSU in 2003 as professor emerita and took a part time position at Saint Mary's Foundation, Grand Rapids. Known by her students and professional colleagues as Dr. Schiller, she was a Fellow of the American Dietetic Association and internationally known as an educator, researcher, and leader in the field. She authored three books, numerous articles, and book chapters on topics related to dietetic practice, clinical nutrition management, quality improvement, leadership, dietetic education, and research methodology.

She has served in many leadership positions and held offices at the state and national levels. Among her many honors were the Medallion Award from American Dietetic Association and the President's Award from the Ohio Dietetic Association. As a trustee at Mount Carmel Health Systems (Columbus), Saint Mary's Health Care (Grand Rapids), University of Detroit Mercy, All Saints Academy (Grand Rapids) The OSU Alumni Club of West Michigan, she contributed her knowledge and expertise in governance of health care and education.

Sister Rosita was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, Thomas (Rev.) Timothy and Francis; brother-in-law, Walter; and sisters-in-law, Genevieve, and Teresa. She is survived by her brother, Joseph (Ruth) (Minneapolis); her sisters, Stella O’Donnell (Ludington) and Rosemary (Norman) Byrne (Ada); 26 nieces and nephews; more than 65 great nieces and nephews; and a loving Mercy Community.

The family will greet friends and relatives from 2-4pm and 6-8pm on Friday, April 26, 2024, at O’Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst Funeral Home, 3980 Cascade Road SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546, with a prayer service at 7pm. Mass of Resurrection will be offered at 10am on Saturday, April 27, 2024, at the Cathedral of St. Andrew, 215 Sheldon Blvd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, with visitation one hour prior. Bishop Walkowiak presiding; other priests are invited to concelebrate. Private interment at Mount Calvary Cemetery, Grand Rapids.

At her request, no flowers, please. Those who wish are invited to make a memorial contribution to the M. Rosita Schiller Scholarship Fund, OSU Medical Dietetics Division, 453 West 10th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210-1234, or Saint Mary's Foundation, Grand Rapids, or Sister of Mercy Ministry Fund.

Obituaries for clergy and religious who have lived or served in the Archdiocese of Detroit may be emailed to [email protected]. Obituaries are printed as they are submitted, but may be edited for grammar and style. Detroit Catholic reserves the right to refuse or edit any submissions.


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