Pearl Koller, Richelle 87, of St. Louis Park, MN, passed away peacefully at Legacy Care Homes in Minnetonka on December 7.
She is survived by her loving husband, John Koller, two daughters Julie (David) LaBelle-Koller and Sooryun Baker, grandchildren Suh, Martin, Jade, Luna and Alek. Preceded in death by her parents, Richard and Juletta Pearl, brother Richard Pearl and sister Rita Kasinak.
Born in St. Paul, MN, Richelle graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy. Upon finishing high school, she entered the convent of the local Sisters of St. Joseph where she served as a teacher and librarian for 16 years. While she was in the convent, she received degrees from St. Catherine’s College (Library Science & English), Notre Dame (American History), and Seattle University WA (Religious Studies & Theology).
She decided to leave the religious life and became an adult educator in Catholic parishes. Richelle was the adult educator at the Church of Christ the King in South Minneapolis for 27 years. In that role, she assisted the pastor in introducing the congregation to the then recent reforms of the Catholic church initiated by the Second Vatican Council.
Along with others, she formed the conference of parish religious educators, and was soon elected its president. Her talents of a teacher became evident when she was asked to be the lecturer of the major books of the Bible to the newly formed West Suburban Women’s Bible Fellowship.
She ministered as Pastoral Assistant for several years, and she counseled individuals with their struggles with marriage, divorce and annulments. She used to tell friends that here she saw her role as a liberator, freeing people from the oppression of religion. Circumstances caused her to transfer to the Spirit of St. Stephen’s Catholic Community, where she was noted as an inspiring leader of liturgy and prayer for many years.
Some of her loves in life included communing with nature, especially hiking and camping with her family in the Rocky Mountains every summer, and above all, tending to her garden with such amazing care. The exceptional beauty of her gardens was the delight of her neighbors.
Her most notable hobby was that of “quilter”. The exceptional beauty and quality of her artistic ability is evident in some of her quilts that are displayed in different venues.
We want to express our immense gratitude to her caregivers: The staff at Legacy Care Homes, Park Nicollet Hospice Team, and numerous volunteers and friends.
Celebration of Life will be held at Spirit of St. Stephen's Catholic Community on Saturday, January 6th at 11:00 am with visitation at 10:00 am and a lunch to follow.