Kunstleben said it was a very emotional ceremony as they had her daughters hidden off stage. When the announcement was made, they came out and surprised her.
Kunstleben's name was one of many submitted for the honor. Nominees were picked for services rendered in their community, church, and local circle.
"Kunstleben is always ready to volunteer when needed no matter what the job entails," her nomination states. "She assists openly and willingly in all aspects of our organization. She assists with fund raisers and is an active volunteer in the community. She has been an officer, either on the local or the state level, as long as she has been a member."
Kunstleben has been a member of St. Louis Catholic Church for 29 years, and involved in the Daughters of Isabella throughout that time.
On the local level, Kunstleben has held the following positions in the Daughters of Isabella: vice regent, regent, past regent, and auditor (eight years each); guide and guard (four years each).
Kunstleben first served as state regent in 1987. At that time, the state were struggling with past due projects.
Kunstleben initiated a fund raiser to bring the projects up to date, raising $40,268.
On the state level she has served as state vice regent (eight years); state regent and state past regent (four years each); state auditor (three years); state scribe and treasurer (two years each).
She has been elected to serve another four years (2001-2004) as a state regent.
As such, she is responsible for installing officers at local chapters, hosting workshops, leading conferences, and attending the international convention. This year's international convention is in Montreal, Canada, in August.
Another local woman, Mary Ann Chladek, was installed as state treasurer for the Daughters of Isabella. Seven of the state officers are from the St. Cloud Diocese.
The Daughters of Isabella are the auxiliary organization of the Knights of Columbus. A current project is the education of the deaf. The Paynesville chapter has donated $1,000 to a parish member to assist with his hearing loss.
At St. Louis Catholic Church, Kunstleben has been a member of the St. Elizabeth Circle for 29 years. She is also a member of the church choir, the Rosary Society, and Christian Women and is an eucharistic minister.
In the community, she is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, the Paynesville Health Care Auxiliary, and the Central Minnesota Encountering Christ Program.
"We have funds to assist people with hearing problems," Kunstleben said. The Daughters of Isabella pay for intrepreters to be at mass and other funds for the deaf. Anyone needing assistance should contact Kunstleben at 320-243-4848.
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