Sister M. Rosalma (Fulmer), CSC

(April 3, 1923 - July 13, 2013)

Word has been received of the death of Sister M. Rosalma (Fulmer), who died at 1:40 a.m. on Saturday, July 13, 2013, in Saint Mary’s Convent, Notre Dame, Indiana.

Sister Rosalma was a very caring person, and her love of serving others marked her success in each of her missions. This innate quality was graciously shared when she could use her own natural culinary skills and those she gained though her degree in home economics to create beautifully prepared meals for the sisters and their visitors whenever the opportunity presented itself. Everyone says she was a marvelous cook, and those who were fortunate enough to live with her reaped the rewards of this well-earned reputation.

Service and concern for others was the story of her life. Whether Sister Rosalma served as principal or superior in the various schools and convents of the East, the same characteristics were obvious. Attesting to her success in these roles is the longevity of her stay in most of her missions: She was 11 years at Holy Cross Academy in Brookline, Massachusetts; 14 years at Saint Anthony of Padua in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and 15 years at Saint Angela’s Hall in Kensington, Maryland, where she was the cordial hostess and supervisor of the kitchen. She was obviously well liked and successful year after year.

Still, Sister Rosalma was a flexible and obedient religious, always going where she was called and needed. In the early years of her teaching experience, her creativity was stretched to the maximum. While in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1945, she taught half of the day in the primary grades and the other half of the day was spent teaching in the high school. Following that, she spent four years in the primary grades. But again in 1953 she was moved to the high school in Brookline, Massachusetts, where she taught home economics and religion and involved herself in working with the alumni of the school. Sister Rosalma was willing, versatile and effective.

After these mixed teaching experiences, Sister Rosalma found her comfort zone in teaching preschoolers and kindergarteners for the next 20 years. Her caring nature came to the fore as she nurtured her little ones with love and the warmth of her personality. Whether it was a skinned knee or a lost pet, she cuddled her charges, easing their pain and grief.

This same warmth of personality and gentle smile were evident to anyone visiting Sister Rosalma in the convent at Saint Mary’s. Her friends and caregivers recognized this gift and encouraged this loving nature by showering her with cuddly toys. Her windowsill and bookcase shelves overflowed with all kinds of warm and fuzzy playthings. Sister Miriam (Eckenrode), her longtime friend, now deceased, constantly added to the menagerie. Sister Miriam was a whiz at bingo, so each time she won a prize she gave it to her friend and enlarged Sister Rosalma’s collection of huggable stuffed toys.

Typical of her nature, Sister Rosalma had a great love of family and put this into practical use while giving palliative care to her aunt for five years. Her devotion to the Holy Family of Nazareth was a natural result of this lived experience. Imagine the reunion of the Holy Family and the Fulmer family as they welcomed Sister Rosalma on Saturday. May she rest in peace.


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