Sister Margaret Maria O'Donnell, CSJ
Sister Margaret Maria O’Donnell, CSJ, 87, died Thursday, October 2, 2008, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham. Sister Margaret had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 59 years.
Sister Margaret was born on June 1, 1921, in Cambridge, NY, daughter of the late William and Marie Fleming O’Donnell. After graduating from SalemHigh School, she received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from SUNY/Oneonta, and a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in music from SUNY/Potsdam. For five years, Sister Margaret taught music in elementary and secondary schools in Potsdam and Long Island. On March 19, 1949, she entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph and professed final vows on August 15, 1956. She subsequently received another master’s degree in humanities from New YorkUniversity and a certificate in art history from Pius XII Institute in Florence, Italy. In addition, Sister Margaret studied art and humanities in Paris, France, and Kyoto, Japan. For the first two years of her religious life, Sister Margaret Maria taught art and music at St. Joseph’s School in Troy. In 1953, she began a 50-year career at The College of Saint Rose where she served as professor of art history and chairperson of the art department.
Sister Margaret Maria was a warm, gentle woman, with an effervescent enthusiasm for life and a passion for beauty. Gifted with a contagious smile and sparkling eyes, she brought delight to others through her gracious spirit, her abiding faith and her own joy in living. Sister Margaret was a talented artist whose works exhibit a wonderful mixture of depth, form and texture. Her intuitive use of color is best shown in her design of the stained-glass windows at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. Sister Margaret’s art, like her life, reflected the light of her beautiful soul.
Sister Margaret Maria is survived by her beloved sister, Dorothy O’Donnell of Rexford, NY; her dear brother and sister-in-law, John and Didge O’Donnell, and their family of Gaithersburg, MD; many cousins and friends; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. She was predeceased by her sister, Gertrude O’Donnell; and by many friends in the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Sister Margaret Maria’s funeral Liturgy was held on Monday, October 6 from the chapel of St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. Interment was in Our Lady Queen of VirginsCemetery on the Provincial House grounds.
Contributions in Sister Margaret’s memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY12110.