Dominican Sister of Peace Charlotte (Shirley) Unrein, OP, (90), died on September 22, 2021, at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Convent Infirmary in Great Bend, KS.
Sr. Charlotte was born in La Crosse, KS, on March 31, 1931, one of the ten children of Lidwina Zimmerman and Carl Unrein. She entered the Dominican Sisters Community in 1945 and pronounced vows in 1948. She celebrated seventy years of religious profession in 2018.
Being just fourteen when she entered religious life, Sister Charlotte began her ministry doing domestic work at the Motherhouse and area convents.
At the age of twenty-five, Sr. Charlotte was sent to Gusau, Nigeria, to help start a mission. Once there, she joined her Sisters as they taught religion and established a dispensary and hospital. She ministered there for five years, leaving, as so many religious did, as the nation’s revolution began.
Upon returning to Great Bend, Sr. Charlotte was put in charge of the sewing room. Rather than finding this a mundane task after her years in Africa, Sr. Charlotte considered this new ministry an adventure, where she could update the traditional habits to fit the spirit of Vatican IL
At forty, Sister Charlotte earned an Associate Degree in Nursing from Barton County Community College. She used this new knowledge to serve at Saint Catherine Hospital and, later, as a surgical counselor and circulator for Fry Eye Associates, and later as a home health nurse.
Sr. Charlotte celebrated the 800th Anniversary of the Order by joining the community of cloistered Dominican Sisters in Prouille to help take care of the guests coming to celebrate the 800th Anniversary of the Order.
After her retirement from outside ministry, Sr. Charlotte was a fixture at the Great Bend Motherhouse, where she tended her roses, made jams, jellies and crafts for the annual bazaar, helped create a welcoming Chapel environment, and welcomed Motherhouse guests.
Sister Charlotte was preceded in death by her parents, four sisters, including her older sister, Sr. Eleanor Unrein, and four brothers. She is survived by one brother, Timothy Unrein, Ocala, FL; several nieces and nephews; as well as the community of the Dominican Sisters of Peace.
A Vigil Service was held on September 26, and the Mass of Christian Burial on September 27, 2021. Sr. Charlotte was buried the Sisters’ Resurrection Cemetery.
To download a printable copy of this memorial, click here.
Memorial gifts in Sr. Charlotte Unrein’s memory may be also be sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr, Columbus, OH 43219