March 18, 1931 - May 28, 2020


Sister Cleone Josephine Renner, (89), died on (May, 28, 2020), at St. Francis Convent, Little Falls, Minn.

Cleone Josephine Renner was born on March 18, 1931, in Buckman, Minn. Later the family moved to Milaca and she considered that her hometown. She was the second of eight children born to the late Victor and Anna (Marshik) Renner. Cleone attended District 96B elementary school and then attended and graduated from St. Francis High School in 1950. She was accepted as a Franciscan Sister of Little Falls, Minnesota, on July 31, 1950, and given the name Sister Mary Anthony, returning to her baptismal name in the 1960s. She made her first profession of vows on August 12, 1952, and final vows on August 12, 1955. She was a Franciscan Sister for 69 years.

Sister Cleone earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, Minn., and a bachelor’s degree in Theology from St. Joseph’s College, Rensselaer, Ind.

She ministered as a teacher’s aide and elementary teacher in St. Cloud, Waite Park, Fergus Falls, Foley, Little Falls and Zimmerman. She served as coordinator of religious education and did parish ministry in Pittsburg Tex. and in Mt. Pleasant, Tex. coordinator of religious education. Later she returned to the Motherhouse where she ministered as sacristan and as a driver.

Sister Cleone was a person of principle and concern. She was happy to serve people in their need and treasured their friendship. She was an accomplished seamstress and was interested in anything mechanical—cars, heating systems and audiovisual equipment—and was very good at repairing the same. Throughout the years, she grew in her appreciation and love for God and was grateful for daily Eucharist from which she drew her strength.

Sister Cleone was preceded in death by siblings Sister Marjorie Ann, OSF, Lorraine Kallis, JoAnne Strang, Victor. Survivors include siblings Sister Mary Lucy, OSC, Sauk Rapids; Leon (Sandy), Foley; Eileen (Benedict) Klimek, Carver; sister-in-law Geraldine, Milaca; nieces, nephews and her Franciscan Community.

A Mass to celebrate the life of Sister Cleone will be at a later date at St. Francis Covent.