February 12, 1919 – August 27, 2016
“May your glory last forever, O God. May you rejoice in
the work of your creation. I will sing to you the living
God all my life, make music to you while I live.” -Psalm 104
Sister Leann (Leander) Cogan passed gently into eternity on Saturday, August 27, 2016, surrounded by her Benedictine sisters as they sang and prayed. Strong in both character and faith, Sister Leann lived the life of a true pioneer. She was born February 12, 1919, at her parents’ ranch near Nathrop, Colorado and was baptized Amelia Ann Cogan. She is preceded in death by her parents John and Elizabeth Esser Cogan and her brother Jerry Cogan. She is survived by her sisters, Mary Margaret Eggleston, Sister Kathleen Cogan, OSB, Sister Elizabeth Cogan, OSB, and her brothers John (Jack) Cogan and Joe Cogan.
Throughout her life, Sister Leann’s pioneering spirit helped her to break through boundaries in the fields of education and ministry. She entered religious life in 1939 and earned her degree in Liberal Arts at Mt. St. Scholastica in 1948 and taught in Colorado, Iowa and Kansas. In 1954, Sister Leann became one of the first women to earn her Masters Degree in Science from Notre Dame University in Great Bend, Indiana. In 1963, she joined 76 other sisters as a charter member of Benet Hill Monastery in Colorado Springs. By 1968, she earned her degree as an administration specialist from the University of Colorado and became the District Superintendent of Public Schools in Antonito, Colorado where she helped implement the Lyndon Johnson Anti-Poverty programs and create Head Start and Title II programs.
Besides teaching, Sister Leann served as a Certified Catholic Chaplain and as a Director of Religious Education. When she was 70, she traveled to Guyana to work as a teacher of nursing students among the native people.
This year, Sister Leann was inducted into the Adams State University Educators Hall of Fame for her lifetime of service in education.
In her free time, Sister Leann was an avid fisherman and a true lover of nature and God’s creatures. More important than any of her ministries and accomplishments, was Sister Leann’s relationship with God-”Preferring nothing to the love of Christ.” She lived her life prayerfully and always expressed a sincere appreciation for life and her many opportunities to serve.