Sister M. Madeline Portner

January 14, 1913 – April 5, 2017

Wilmette, Illinois — Sister M. Madeline Portner died peacefully at Sacred Heart Convent in Wilmette, Illinois, on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, at the age of 104.

Funeral services were held at Sacred Heart Convent in Wilmette, with internment in the convent cemetery on April 11, 2017.

Martha Clara Portner was born on January 14, 1913 in Lafayette Township, Nicollet County, to Andrew and Frances (Ries) Portner, the second of 6 children. She graduated from Holy Trinity (Cathedral) High School in 1930, and was received into religious formation at Wilmette in 1935. She made her final vows with the Sisters of Christian Charity in 1937.

Sister Madeline received her BA degree in History with an English minor from DePaul University in Chicago. She went on to have a long and fruitful career of service in Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Louisiana, and Missouri. Sister taught elementary school at each level from 1st through 8th grade, served as principal, superior, and librarian between 1961 – 1984; and then served as superior, convent treasurer and school librarian from 1984 – 1998. In 1999 she served as a tutor at the Josephinum High School (Academy) and from 2002 – 2006, she was the convent librarian at Sacred Heart Convent. After 2006, Sister Madeline retired to Sacred Heart Convent where she lived out her life in “prayer and presence”.

Sister is the last surviving sibling, being preceded in death by her sisters, Frances Brandel and Delores Machtemes; and brothers, Bernard Portner, Alex Portner, and Harold Portner. She is survived by sister-in-law, Joan Portner, of Sleepy Eye, many cousins, nieces and nephews, and extended family.

Memorials may be made to the Sisters of Christian Charity, Sacred Heart Convent, at 2221 Etmwood Ave., Wilmette, Illinois, 60091.


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