Isabella R. Auer

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The soul of Isabella Rose Auer, 17, was called home to Jesus on April 28, 2020, after courageously battling DIPG, a terminal brain cancer, for almost one year. Isabella offered her sufferings and carried her cross with humble quietness, grace, and dignity. Just hours before passing she was Anointed and given the Apostolic Pardon.

Due to COVID-19 regulations, private Mass of Christian Burial was held Saturday, May 2, at St. Mary Catholic Church in East Dubuque, Ill., with the Divine Mercy Chaplet in song prayed before the Mass, with Fr. Peter Sneig officiating. The family livestreamed the Chaplet and Mass on Isabella’s facebook group: Inspiration for Isabella: Fight DIPG.

Burial was in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Key West.

A public Memorial Mass will be planned at a later date.

The Egelhof, Siegert and Casper Westview Funeral Home, Dubuque was in charge of arrangements.

She came into this world on Dec. 4, 2002, with a crown of dark waves and sparkling blue eyes, a precious gift on loan from God, to David and Misty (Fischer) Auer. She was baptized at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Dubuque and received the Sacraments of Confession, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation, at St. Mary Catholic Church in East Dubuque. She received most of her education at home, where her heart was. She was very committed to learning and was on track to graduate with a GPA over 4.0. Losing her ability to focus and learn as well as she had before, was one of her greatest crosses. 

Isabella was passionate about her faith and never shied from sharing it with others. She made friends with the Saints at a very early age and she spent much of her toddler years dressed as Mother Mary. The family takes comfort in the hope that she is now face to face with some of her most beloved heroes and heroines. Family was very important to her and she cherished time spent with her parents and three younger brothers who were her very best friends. Isabella was an “old soul” with a deep love for learning and the arts. She loved to read, and devoured books. As a homeschool student, she would read and reread her school material “just for fun.” Tolkien was her favorite author and he inspired her to dream of becoming an author herself. Upon learning of her diagnosis she set forth to self-publish a fantasy book, Daughter of Kings, which she had written when she was just thirteen years old. A few months later, she and two of her friends compiled a collection of short stories and poems written by Catholic Youth, and self published Pens Set Aflame: An Anthology of Poetry and Prose, with the proceeds from sales going to EWTN. Given more time, it is certain she would have published more work. She also dreamed of attending a Newman Guide recommended college, becoming a wife, and most of all, a mother. The family hopes she is enjoying her Eternal reward “mothering” many, entertaining the angels and saints with her sarcasm and wit, filling notebooks with new ideas, admiring her Creator’s great artwork, and basking in His great love for her. May her soul bring many souls to Him. May she be living her very own “happily ever after,” in the greatest story ever written.

Isabella was a beloved daughter and a wonderful big sister. She will be greatly missed by those whom she leaves behind; parents Dave and Misty Auer; brothers Gabriel, John Paul, and Emeric Auer; and companions with fur Bosco and Joy, all of Dubuque; her grandparents, Lee and Cathy Fischer, of Guttenberg; and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

She was preceded in death by two preborn siblings, Michael Maximilian (2007) and David-Helen (2019); paternal grandparents Dr. George and JoAnn (Lake) Auer; and a paternal aunt Lisa (Auer) Hagen.

The family would like to thank their friends, family, and community for all of the prayers and support they have received throughout Isabella’s illness. Prayer warriors, you have carried us through this. Special thanks to all of the spiritual fathers who have offered prayers, support, hospital visits, and the Sacraments. Thank you in particular to our parish pastors (new and old) Fr. Sneig, Fr. Smith, and Fr. Parker, for your prayers visits and administration of the Sacraments. Thank you also to Fr. Navarro for your visits and for hearing her confessions and bringing her Holy Communion. Thank you to Fr. Barch for administering to her in her final hours. Thank you to her team in Iowa City, especially Drs. Sato, Stevens, and Buatti; Kristi Foster; nurse Jenna and all the 11th floor nurses. Nana Banana and Sara Lee, you will always be in our hearts. Thank you to Hospice of Dubuque, especially our nurse, Kristin, and social worker, Amy.

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