Sister Berta Sailer, co-founder of Operation Breakthrough, passed away January, 25, 2024 at the age of 87. A 50-year champion of children and families facing adversity, Sister Berta spent most of her life providing social services, education and health for those most in need.

CLICK HERE to read Sister Berta's obituary.

CLICK HERE to see a new video about Sr. Berta's life and legacy - Sister Berta: The Patron Saint of Troost

Please consider:

Memorial contributions to The Sister Corita and Sister Berta Irrevocable Trust (for the care of the family)
at Country Club Bank, One Ward Parkway, Kansas City MO 64112

OR a gift to the children of Operation Breakthrough in memory of Sister Berta
at P.O. Box 412482, Kansas City MO 64141.

CLICK HERE to write a tribute to Sister Berta in the message box on our "Contact Us" page.
We will post the tributes below.


My family was inspired by Sr. Berta's work. When my son was in the 6th grade, he chose her as the subject of his "Hero" report for SMSD and was one of 3 students chosen to share the report with all 6th graders at a district-wide assembly.. Here's some of what he wrote (he's 24 now!)

It is important to have heroes because if there weren’t heroes, civilization wouldn’t grow, it would fall apart because no one would do or create anything good. No one can be Sister Berta, but if you want to come close, help people follow their dreams as much as you can, even at your own personal expense. Never be afraid of doing something helpful, and always treat everyone with love. Sister Berta is a true hero. Although her life has been rough, she sees it as all the more reason to change someone else’s. That is why Sister Berta is a Hero; noun, “A person who is known for such traits as courage and nobility and for good deeds” - Lisa Veglahn


Over 30 years ago when Sister Berta brought her foster baby and now daughter for occupational therapy I had no idea she would suck me into working at OB for years. They were rewarding years full of laughter and watching the center grow. Most of all I got to know Berta who was a mentor in how to live a life of service. It has been a blessing to know her. - Nancy Sullivan


Sister Berta is one of the greatest people. Our world is a better place for having her in it, and those who were lucky enough to be in community with her are better people as a result. Rest easy, amazing woman. - Jeremy LaFaver


An incredible woman who will always be remembered. I feel honored to have had multiple sit-downs with her as a young single mom. Her stern but kind words helped me break free from the despair I had been living in. Thanks to her and the many beautiful humans at O.B., I realized I was capable of more and deserving of more. Thank you, Sister Berta, for loving and supporting us, the McMurray family.
- Amber McMurray


A few people will change your life forever. One conversation with Sister Berta is all it took. Her ability to command a room was mesmerizing. The perspective she taught me changed my life for the better and inspired myself and friends to take notice + ACTION to what she dedicated her entire life to. What is even better, is she and Sister Corita built a framework and a legacy that will carry on forever.
- Ramsey Mohsen


Sister Berta’s bandwidth for who and what she cared about was immense. Only salads and people who told her “no” seemed to be excluded. As a volunteer, I often wondered where all of Sister Berta’s energy came from (surely not all from her preferred cheeseburger meals.) One of the known laws of physics is the concept of energy transference. Simply stated as energy in the universe is neither lost nor gained, but is constantly changing forms. What gives me comfort in the knowledge of her passing is Sister Berta’s unceasing energy continues to exist in the forward motion of everyone who knew her and all who walk through the doors of Operation Breakthrough today. We have her love, her determination and we certainly have her energy. We can harness Sister Berta’s energy and continue to be her voice of compassion and passion for change. So many people in this world and we were so lucky to be in hers. Much love to her family, to everyone at Operation Breakthrough and in Kansas City. 
- Carole Schroeder (Nipomo, CA)


Thank you for your incredible example of selfless love and sacrifice for others, Sister Berta. What a legacy you have left for us to continue through our support of Operation Breakthrough. Eternal rest grant unto her, o Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace.
- Kerry Kerr


Sister Berta, I will always cherish the memories we’ve shared together, because your genuine LOVE and SHARING allow me too look within myself and realize that GIVING is so REWARDING!!! The path you’ve started will continue through the lives of generations to come. LOVE ALWAYS!
- Helen Hill