Sister Roberta Scanlon, CSJ
Sister Roberta Scanlon, CSJ (Sister Roberta Joseph), 99, died Thursday, March 1, 2007, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham. Sister Roberta was one week short of her 100th birthday and had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 81 years.
Sister Roberta, the former Alice Roberta Scanlon, was born March 9, 1907 in Syracuse, NY, daughter of the late John and Grace Horan Scanlon. After graduating from St. Lucy’s High School, she attended SyracuseUniversity; at that time (early 1920s), she was the women’s tennis champion for the City of Syracuse. On March 19, 1926, Sister Roberta entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Troy, NY, where she professed final vows in 1931. Sister Roberta received a bachelor’s degree in Latin from The College of Saint Rose and a master’s degree in theology from Catholic University of America. In addition, she pursued post-graduate studies in scripture and theology at St. LouisUniversity and the University of Notre Dame. During her 81 years as a Sister of St. Joseph, Sister Roberta taught chemistry, Latin and theology in schools of the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses and served as a religious-education coordinator in several parishes. In addition, she taught theology at The College of Saint Rose for twenty years.
Sister Roberta’s life as a Sister of St. Joseph was an inspiring illustration of scholarship which reflected on the world from the standpoint of both tradition and a call to respond to the needs of the times. She was known among her students and colleagues as a stimulating conversationalist whose interests ranged from philosophy to theology to the major intellectual and political events of the times. Sister Roberta continued her scholarly endeavors long after her retirement from teaching through presenting workshops and leading adult-education programs.
Sister Roberta is survived by seven nieces and nephews and their families, and by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. In addition to her parents, Sister Roberta was predeceased by three brothers: Daniel, esq.; Rev. John, SJ; and Robert (killed in WWI); and by three sisters: Mary Ruth; Grace (Coyle) and Joanne; and by many friends in the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Sister Roberta’s funeral Liturgy was held Monday, March 5, 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 Roberta’s memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY12110.