Fr. Sitzmann to receive Spellman Award
The Mercy Medical Center Foundation has chosen Father Richard Sitzmann of Sioux City as the 2014 recipient of the Dr. George G. Spellman Annual Service Award.
A native of the rural Hinton area, Father Sitzmann attended the Lincoln Township School No. 1, St. Joseph Catholic School, Le Mars and Heelan High School in Sioux City before attending Immaculate Conception Seminary College in Conception, Mo.
He then went on to Mount St. Bernard Seminary in Dubuque. He earned a master's in education degree from Creighton University in Omaha.
Bishop Joseph M. Mueller ordained him a priest on May 26, 1962, at the Cathedral of Epiphany in Sioux City. Father Sitzmann retired as the chaplain at Mercy Medical Center with residence at St. Boniface Parish of Sioux City.
Father Sitzmann has served at Cathedral of the Epiphany, Sioux City; Heelan High School, Sioux City; St. Mary Parish and St. Mary High School, Remsen; St. John the Baptist Parish, Quimby; St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Maple River; Kuemper High School, Carroll; Assumption Parish and St. Thomas Parish, Emmetsburg; and St. Boniface Parish, Sioux City.
Upon his retirement in 2013 from Mercy Medical Center, Father Sitzmann noted that after 30 years in the parish and school setting, he found the 21 years serving as a hospital chaplain to be the best years of his priesthood.
"I enjoyed it and felt good at it. That’s why I stayed until I was 78," he said. "People would often say, 'I think you found your niche' when they would see me operating as a chaplain."
The Mercy Foundation established the Dr. George G. Spellman Annual Service Award in 2002 to recognize those who not only exemplify the values of Mercy but those whose actions contribute to the betterment of the Siouxland community. In establishing the award, the Foundation’s members were motivated by a sincere appreciation for the volunteers, staff and their families and others whose energy, selflessness and compassion contribute to the quality of care that Mercy provides.
The Foundation will present this award to Father Sitzmann at the Mercy Medical Center Foundation Fall Gala, Nov. 1, at the Marina Inn, South Sioux City.
Past recipients of the award include the late Dr. George Spellman and Mrs. Carol Spellman, Martha Burchard, the late Russell Christiansen and Marilyn Christiansen, Hospice of Siouxland, Jack and Barbara Aalfs, Dr. Theodore Roman, Eldon and Regina Roth, Dr. Michael Jung, Dr. Jack Michalak, Dr. Gary Carlton, Verna Welte and Dr. Michael Wolpert.
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