Sister William Agnes Nelson, CSJ
Sister William Agnes Nelson, CSJ, 99, died, Sunday, February 28, 2010, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham. Sister William Agnes had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 77 years.
Sister William Agnes, the former Catherine Dorothy Nelson, was born May 12, 1910, in Utica, New York, daughter of the late James and Jane Connolly Nelson. After attending St. Agnes Grade School, Utica Catholic Academy, Utica Free Academy and Excelsior School of Business, Sister William Agnes worked as a bookkeeper and stenographer for J. L. Matt and Company in Utica. On March 19, 1933, she entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Troy, New York. Sister William Agnes completed her education at The College of Saint Rose and taught elementary grades for 20 years in schools in the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses. For 25 years, Sister William Agnes worked in the business and accounting departments at St. Mary’s Hospital in Amsterdam. In addition, she served in the tray department and in the treasurer’s office at St. Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham.
Sister William Agnes was a gentle and kind friend to all who knew her. Gifted with prayerfulness, wisdom and a light, ready laugh, she lived her life simply with a profound spirit of humility. God’s love was the essence of her life, and dedicated service was the focus of her energy. Sister William was a loyal and devoted Sister of St. Joseph and a woman of integrity and graciousness. Her deep sense of gratitude reflected her great heart, a heart that will be dearly missed by many.
Sister William Agnes is survived by several nieces and nephews, including Joan Finnegan of Whitesboro; Delores Elsenbeck of Surf City, NY; Catherine Tormey of Syracuse, and Patricia Dwyer of New Hartford; many cousins and friends, and the Sisters of St. Joseph. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by five brothers: Joseph, Thomas, James, John and Francis; four sisters: Anne Roberts, Rose Nelson, Jane Hogan and Marie Teetsel; and by many friends in the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Sister William Agnes’ funeral Liturgy was celebrated on Wednesday, March 3 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 William Agnes’ memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110.