Sister Jean Therese Owens, CSJ
Sister Jean Therese Owens, CSJ, 87, died Sunday, January 10, 2010, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 55 years.
Sister Jean Therese, the former Catherine Ann Owens, was born in Albany on February 5, 1922, daughter of the late Francis and Jean Rahill Owens. After graduating from St. Joseph’s Academy, Albany, she received a bachelor’s degree in social studies from The College of Saint Rose, a second bachelor’s degree in education from SUNY/New Paltz, and a master’s degree in education from, SUNY/Albany. In addition, Sister Jean pursued post-graduate studies at Boston College, Temple University and Harvard University. After completing her education, she taught in the Albany public schools for nine years, distinguishing herself as the Albany delegate to the New York State Education Committee and receiving the prestigious New York State Teacher of the Year Award. On March 19, 1954, Sister Jean entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph and professed final vows on August 15, 1961. After teaching for several years in schools in the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses, Sister Jean began a 26-year career at The College of Saint Rose where she served as instructor, supervisor of student teachers, director of the graduate program in reading and associate professor of education. On May 11, 1996, the Board of Trustees of The College of Saint Rose awarded Sister Jean the honorary designation of Professor Emeritus.
Sister Jean Therese was an exceptional woman: a teacher and mentor who constantly sought opportunities to improve the academic curriculum and to encourage students to pursue careers in the field of education. Over the years, Sister Jean served as supervisor to hundreds of student teachers at The College of Saint Rose who, through her guidance, developed distinguished careers in the field of education. Behind Sister Jean’s brilliant mind lay a humble, gracious woman with a keen sense of humor, a gentle smile and a perpetual twinkle in her eyes. A Sister of St. Joseph to the core of her being, Sister Jean’s sense of faith, friendship, love and justice was integrated at a profound level. She has left us with a rich legacy of a life well lived, and we will miss her dearly.
Sister Jean Therese is survived by her niece, Jean Owens; her grandniece, Michelle Owens; her cousin, Jane Senecal; many friends and colleagues; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, with special mention of her beloved friends, Sisters Sheila Francis Fahrenkopf, Catherine T. McNamee and Therese Lynch. In addition to her parents, Sister Jean was predeceased by her dear brothers, Francis and John; by her baby great-grandnephew, Earl Thomas LaMay, IV; and by many loved ones in the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Sister Jean Therese’s funeral Liturgy was celebrated on Wednesday, January 13, in the chapel of St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. Interment was in Our Lady Queen of Virgins Cemetery on the Provincial House grounds. Contributions in Sister Jean’s memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110.