Sister Margaret Raphael Cronkhite, CSJ
Sister Margaret Raphael Cronkhite, CSJ, 79, died Tuesday, December 21, 2010, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham, NY. Sister Margaret had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 57 years.
Sister Margaret Raphael, the former Mary Joan Cronkhite, was born in Hudson, NY, on October 11, 1931, daughter of the late Frederick and Margaret Troy Cronkhite. She graduated from St. Mary’s Academy, Hudson, and completed her nursing studies at St. Mary’s Hospital School of Nursing, Amsterdam, and The College of Saint Rose, Albany; in addition, she pursued studies in ambulatory surgery and laser surgery in Boston. On August 15, 1953, Sister Margaret entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph and professed final vows on August 15, 1960. Sister Margaret Raphael taught for one year at Sacred Heart School, Troy, and ministered for five years as a nurse and teacher at St. Joseph’s Infant Home, Troy. For the next 50 years, Sister Margaret served at St. Mary’s Hospital, Amsterdam, where she was the surgical-suite supervisor for 38 years and patient-satisfaction specialist and patient-callback representative for the past 12 years.
Sister Margaret Raphael was a skillful and compassionate nurse and supervisor with a deep love and loyalty for St. Mary’s Hospital and the people of Amsterdam. She was a determined person, self-disciplined, level-headed and very capable of taking the initiative. Sister Margaret’s professional competence and enormous knowledge of surgical-nursing matters gained her the respect and admiration of the physicians and staff who worked with her. Sister Margaret Raphael was a steadfast friend and family member and a devoted Sister of St. Joseph who leaves to us a legacy of faith, fortitude and spirit.
Sister Margaret Raphael is survived by her dear sister, Margaret Fontaine of Hudson; two nieces: Joanne Fontaine of Hudson, and Patrice Fontaine of Albuquerque, NM; one nephew: Fred Fontaine of Hudson; her beloved friend of many years: Sister Mary Ann McCafferty; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet with special mention of the many Sisters who served over the years with Sister Margaret at St. Mary’s Hospital. In addition to her parents, Sister Margaret was predeceased by her brother-in-law, Louis Fontaine; her niece, Mary Lou Fontaine; and by many friends in the Sisters of St. Joseph, including her long-time friend and colleague, Sister Catherine Bernard Cox.
Sister Margaret Raphael’s funeral Liturgy was held Tuesday, December 28, 2010, from 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 Margaret’s memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110.