Sister Celia Kiesel, formerly Sister M. Conrad, died Oct. 9, 2016, in the Stella Niagara Health Center in Stella Niagara. She was 90.
The former Joan Cecelia Kiesel was born July 15, 1926, in the Bronx, to Conrad and Mary O'Connell Kiesel. Before entering religious life, she worked for the New York Telephone Company and served in the U.S. Air Force for two years. She was discharged as an airman second class in 1955.
Later that year, she joined the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity in Stella Niagara and professed perpetual vows in 1961. In that year, she also received a bachelor's degree in education from Rosary Hill, now Daemen College, in Amherst.
She also received an associate of arts degree in religious studies from Ohio Dominican College in 1978 and a certification in clinical pastoral education from St. Jude Center/Roswell Park Memorial Institute in Buffalo in 1980/1981.
Sister Celia began her teaching ministry at St. Peter School in Lewiston, where she served from 1960-61. She also taught at Our Lady of Lebanon School in Niagara Falls from 1962-64.
In 1965, Sister Celia began serving in the Diocese of Columbus, where she served intermittently when not in the Dioceses of Buffalo, Trenton, N.J., and St. Petersburg, Fla. From 1972-75, she served in pastoral ministry at St. Leo Parish in the town of Niagara, and she also served in various ministries at Stella Niagara Convent from 1971-76 and 1978-82.
In Ohio, she served as a teacher, social worker and in various other ministries at schools, parishes and orphanages. Sister Celia also taught at schools in New Jersey and served in various ministries during her time in Florida from 1996-2005, after which she retired to Stella Niagara. She became a resident of the order's health center in 2009.
She is survived by two sisters, Virginia (Vincent) Shary and Sister Marcella Kiesel, OSF, and brothers Conrad (Margaret) Kiesel and Anthony (Patricia) Kiesel.
A funeral Mass was held in the sisters' chapel in Stella Niagara, with burial in Stella Niagara Cemetery.