Gazebo dedication to Mayo Clinic’s longest-serving member
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(ABC 6 News) – Sister Lauren Weinandt served at Mayo Clinic for 67 years, the longest staff member on record, but she passed away peacefully on July 31, 2023, two days before turning 102.
Wednesday, Mayo Clinic will celebrate the life of Sister Lauren by unveiling a gazebo in her honor at 2:30 p.m.
For more than a century, a gazebo on the Saint Mary’s Campus in Rochester offered respite for staff and its patients before being removed in 2019 for a hospital expansion.
However, in November 2022, and in honor of Sister Lauren’s 100 birthday, construction began on this new gazebo. Originally dedicated to the staff of Mayo Clinic, it will now honor her and Mayo Clinic staff.
Hundreds of people came to see the unveiling of the gazebo Wednesday afternoon.
Sister Lauren’s family says her impact has been incredible and they are excited it will be here for years to come.
“I think that she would be very pleased, ‘Sis approved’ is what we would say,” said Alec Foss, Sister Lauren’s godson. “I think that she is here with us today. It’s a beautiful fall day, mid-October, you could not ask for nicer weather so Sis is shining down on us.”
Sister Lauren had always wanted the gazebo to give staff at Mayo Clinic a place to relax and find peace.
While Sister Lauren is not here to see it, other sister of Saint Francis say that she would have loved it.
“she wanted the gazebo and I know she would have been pleased if she were alive today,” said Sister Burnadette. “It’s beautiful and I think that employees enjoy it and I know they will enjoy it.”
The gazebo is for staff only and those wishing to step inside need a key card to enter.
Buried beneath the gazebo is a time capsule filled with items from Sister Lauren, including her family rosary, a letter, archives of Mayo Clinic news articles and even a COVID-19 mask.
The time capsule will be opened 100 years from now.