Medical Mission Sister Karen Gossman, formerly Sister Mildred Catherine, died on April 10 in Philadelphia. Sister Gossman, 93, and had served as a nurse Vietnam, Pakistan and in World War II.
She was a native of Louisville and graduated from Mercy Academy in 1940. She earned a nursing diploma from Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital in 1943 and served as a staff member in the operating room for two years.
Sister Gossman was also a member of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps from 1945 to 1947. During that time, she served in both an operating room theater and on an Army hospital ship. Following World War II, she returned to work at Sts. Mary & Elizabeth, and then entered the Medical Mission Sisters in 1949.
From 1952 to 1956 she served as an operating room supervisor at Holy Family Hospital in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. During this time, she became a registered nurse-midwife. From 1956 to 1960, she was assigned to Holy Family Hospital in Karachi, Pakistan, and served as the hospital administrator.
In 1960, Sister Gossman also began a ministry to people in Vietnam. She was the local superior and administrator of Holy Family Hospital in Qui Nhon, South Vietnam, until 1967. From 1968 to 1971, she was the executive director of a Vietnam refugee assistance program, splitting time between Saigon and Washington, D.C.
Following her return from Vietnam, Sister Gossman became certified as a nurse-anesthetist and served as a clinical instructor in Ohio. In Louisville, she worked in the anesthesia department at Norton Children’s Hospital.
After she retired from hospital work, she became a pastoral care worker. She also was an active member of the Covenant Peace Community and participated in activities for peace and justice. She moved from Louisville to Philadelphia in 2011 and resided there until here death.
She is survived by 11 nieces and nephews and the members of her community.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on April 19 at the Medical Mission Sisters North American Headquarters’ Chapel in Philadelphia. Burial will follow in the sisters’ cemetery in Philadelphia.