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Sister Amelia Zurgable, DC

As originally published on Saturday, October 29, 2005

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Monday, October 31, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Emmitsburg, for Sister Amelia Zurgable, DC, dietitian. Sister died Thursday, October 27, 2005 at Villa St. Michael, the province's retirement residence in Emmitsburg. She was 96 years of age and 73 years of vocation.

The former Mary Mildred Zurgable was born in Emmitsburg (MD) in St. Joseph's parish to Thomas G. and Virginia Lingg Zurgable. She graduated from St. Joseph's High School, entered the Daughters of Charity in 1932, and was given the name Sister Amelia.--

Sister Amelia received her bachelor's degree from St. Joseph College, Emmitsburg, where she majored in food and nutrition.

After completing the seminary [novitiate] in 1933, Sister Amelia began her long career in dietetics. She served in Daughters of Charity institutions in New York, Baltimore, Emmitsburg, Florida and Virginia.--Her first mission, under the title of food manager, was at St. John's home, Utica (NY) and lasted four years, followed by 15 years as food manager at St. Ann's Infant Home in Washington (DC) from 1937 to 1952. Sister devoted the next two years to studies in nutrition. Her studies completed, Sister was assigned as director of dietary services to Sisters Hospital, Waterville (ME) from 1955-1958; St. Agnes Hospital 1958-1965; Sisters Hospital, Buffalo (NY) from 1965-1969; Villa St. Michael, Emmitsburg 1969-1972; St. Vincent's Medical Center, Jacksonville (FL) from 1972-1975; Timonium (MD)--Villa Louise, from 1975-1977 and St. Vincent's Child Care Center from 1977-1985. Sister's last active duty assignment was as special dietitian at DePaul Medical Center in Norfolk from 1985-1988.

After her appointment as the new director of the dietary department at St. Vincent's Medical Center in Jacksonville in 1972, Sister Amelia was featured in an article in the Jacksonville Journal for her prize-winning sandwich recipe.--Sister's most famous sandwich was an 11-ingredient French Grilled Shrimp sandwich for which she won $500 and a trip to New York City.--Sister commented, "I don't think it's worth $500, but I guess it was just because it was so different that I won the prize."

In 1988, after having served 55 years in the dietary field, Sister returned to Emmitsburg and retired to Villa St. Michael.

Sister Amelia was a member of the American Dietetic Association and the Maryland Dietetic Association.

The last of her immediate family, Sister Amelia was preceded in death by brothers, Henry, Maurice, Roger and Donald Zurgable, sisters Alice Zurgable Balmer and Margaret Zurgable Shorb and nephew Thomas Zurgable. Sister is survived by a sister-in-law, Irene Zurgable, Emmitsburg (MD); four nieces--Dolores Zurgable, Rockville (MD); Wanda Zurgable, Cassett (NC); Donna Feightner, Keedysville (MD); Jackie Karbs, Casper (WY) and Gwen Topper, Emmitsburg (MD); nephews John Balmer, Waynesboro (PA); Donald Shorb and Mark Zurgable of Emmitsburg; Jeffrey Zurgable, Deep Creek Lake (MD) and Gregory Zurgable, Fairfield (PA).

Memorial contributions may be made to the Daughters of Charity Support Fund for the Elderly and Infirm Sisters, 333 S. Seton Avenue, Emmitsburg (MD) 21727.

If you knew Sister Amelia Zurgable, and would like to see her remembered in the next History of Emmitsburg, Please send us any stories or anecdotes about her to us at: history@emmitsburg.net