Born: Geraldine Ellen Donovan, July 28, 1936, in Utica, NY
Died: March 2, 2023, at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse, Allegany, NY
Daughter of: Gerald and Anne O’Hare Donovan, Utica, NY
Sr. Geraldine entered the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany on August 21, 1955; was received into the Congregation on August 15, 1956, and professed her final vows on August 16, 1963. She joyfully lived the Mission and Charism of the Franciscan Sisters for over 67 years.
Geraldine attended Blessed Sacrament Elementary School and Utica Catholic Academy, Utica, NY, graduating in 1954. Following graduation, she studied liberal arts at Le Moyne College, Syracuse, NY. After entering the Congregation, Gerry attended Barry College, Miami, FL, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She pursued graduate studies at Boston University, Boston, MA., graduating with a Masters Degree in Nursing Education Administration and a Ph.D. in Sociology.
Gerry served in various ministries during her many years in the Congregation. She ministered in Florida, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York. She was an instructor at St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing, Providence, RI; an adjunct professor and assistant to the academic dean at Christ the King Seminary, East Aurora, NY; Administrative Assistant for Quality Assurance at St. Francis Hospital, Miami Beach, FL; Vice President of Mission/Ethics at Allegany Health System, St. Petersburg, FL; and Formation Director, Archivist and Congregational Historian for the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, Allegany, NY. She served as Minister of Welcome/Hospitality and a Retreat Team Member of The Franciscan Center, Tampa, FL – an apropos assignment for a woman of Gerry’s character.
A lifelong learner, Gerry maintained professional memberships and affiliations with national nursing associations and religious study organizations. She enjoyed traveling, reading, writing (was a published author), playing the organ/piano, singing and spending time with her beloved dog, Maeve. Gerry brought light and love simply by sharing a smile, a word of encouragement, and a sweet giggle after a little joke.
Gerry retired from active ministry in 2009 to care for her family members at their time of need. In 2015, she was warmly welcomed home to St. Elizabeth Motherhouse where she lived until her death.
Sr. Gerry is predeceased by her parents, Gerald and Anne O’Hare Donovan; brothers: The Reverend Monsignor William Donovan, Gerald Francis Donovan, who died in infancy; a sister, Sr. Mary Lourdes Donovan, OSF, an Allegany Franciscan and former Congregational Minister. She is survived by a brother, The Rev. James Michael Donovan; and a sister, Sr. Bernadette Mary Donovan, OSF, an Allegany Franciscan and several cousins.
A wake service is scheduled for Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at 4:00PM in the chapel of St. Elizabeth Motherhouse. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, at 9:30AM in the chapel of St. Elizabeth Motherhouse. Burial will follow in St. Bonaventure Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the direction of Letro-McIntosh-Spink Funeral Home, Inc. 646 East State Street, Olean, New York. For condolences, please visit www.letromcintoshspinkfuneralhome.com.
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