Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302


the Inland Register

(From the April 21, 2016 edition of the Inland Register)

Sister Dorothy (Margaret Yvonne) Zimny SP

Sister Dorothy Zimny, age 99, a Sister of Providence for 80 years, died March 23 at St. Joseph Residence, Seattle.

The vigil service took place the evening of March 30; the funeral Mass was celebrated March 31. Both took place at Mount St. Joseph, Seattle. Burial followed at Holy Cross Cemetery, Spokane.

Dorothy Elizabeth Zimny was born Jan. 27, 1917 to Andrew and Elizabeth Zimny in Melrose Park, Ill. When she was nine months old the family moved to Spokane. She was the youngest of four children.

She entered the Sisters of Providence in July 1935 at Mount St. Vincent, Seattle. She professed first vows on July 19, 1937, and received the name Sister Margaret Yvonne. She professed final vows three years later to the day.

Sister Dorothy’s first ministry was teaching: in Montana, Idaho, and in the Spokane Diocese at St. Joseph Academy in Sprague and St. John Academy in Colfax.

In 1951, Sister Dorothy received a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from the College of Great Falls, Montana. In 1967 she received a Bachelor of Science degree in medical record library science from Seattle University, and a Registered Medical Records Certification from Providence Hospital, Seattle.

From 1955-78 her ministry was in health care services, where she held numerous positions at various sites, including St. Ignatius Hospital and Whitman Community Hospital, Colfax; Sacred Heart Medical Center, Spokane; and St. Mary Hospital, Walla Walla.

In 1978 Sister Dorothy had various administrative roles at Mount St. Joseph’s Provincial Administration office in Spokane, until she retired at age 80. In 2012 she moved to St. Joseph Residence, Seattle.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of Providence Retirement Fund, 1801 Lind Ave. S.W., #9016, Renton, WA 98057-9016.

Father Leon Kapfer SJ

Jesuit Father Leon Kapfer died March 10 at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center Infirmary in Los Gatos, Calif. He was 94.

The vigil service was April 8 in the Jesuit House Chapel at Gonzaga University. The funeral Mass was celebrated there the next day. Inurnment was April 9 at Mt. St. Michael’s Cemetery, Spokane.

An identical twin, Leon Philip Kapfer was born Dec. 20, 1921, in Spokane to Phillip L. and Ellen Mary (Lesh) Kapfer. He grew up in Hillyard with his twin brother Leslie and older sister Virginia, enjoying a deep comradery among the many Catholics families living in the area.

Lee graduated from Gonzaga High School in 1940 and that same summer entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Sheridan, Ore. He followed the regular course of Jesuit formation studies and teaching experiences and was ordained a priest on June 20, 1953, in Spokane.

The high school world and Father Kapfer were a comfortable fit for each other; his classroom was a serious place and the athletic field was a place where he helped form the character of many young men. He lent his talents to Bellarmine Preparatory for nine years (1955 to 1964); a call to help build the church in Africa beckoned him to spend the next 10 years in Zambia. His mother’s declining health brought him back to Spokane in 1974, and he taught at Gonzaga Prep for three years before being appointed the Director of the Jesuit Seminary and Mission Bureau, Oregon Province, where he served for 12 years.

In 1989 he was asked to “fill-in” for one year at St. Joseph Church, Seattle; 19 years later the parish fondly wished him goodbye as he transferred to the Regis Community assisted-living center in Spokane in 2008. As his health continued to decline, Father Kapfer transferred to the Jesuit Infirmary in Los Gatos, Calif., last year.

Father Kapfer was known for his quiet and steady way of proceeding, regardless of the complexities of the situation.

Contributions in honor of Father Kapfer may be sent to: The Senior Jesuit Fund, c/o The Oregon Province, Society of Jesus, P.O. Box 86010, Portland, OR 97286; or to the charity of the donor’s choice.

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