Sister Mary Theonilla Franklin, CSJ
Sister Mary Theonilla Franklin, CSJ, 95, died Sunday, February 13, 2011, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham, NY. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 74 years.
Sister Mary Theonilla, the former Agatha Mary Franklin, was born on July 13, 1915, in Schenectady, NY, daughter of the late Michael and Alice Exware Franklin. She graduated from Draper High School and worked for General Electric in Schenectady. On March 19, 1937, Sister Theonilla entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph and professed final vows on August 15, 1942. She received a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in education, both from The College of Saint Rose. For 40 years, Sister Theonilla taught in elementary schools in the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses. After her teaching years, she served in the chapel, the library and the Tray Department at St. Joseph’s Provincial House.
Sister Mary Theonilla was an excellent primary educator who loved her work with young children. As a teacher of first and second grades, she cherished the privilege of training her pupils for their First Eucharist. Blessed with a gentle manner, a warm smile and a listening ear, Sister Theonilla naturally drew young children to her and strove to bring out the best in each student. A humble and unassuming woman, she lived life with a deep trust in the goodness of people and a profound faith in the providence of God. She leaves a lasting legacy of kindness, generosity and selfless service.
Sister Mary Theonilla is survived by her nephews: Raymond (Bette) Franklin; Wayne (Helen) Franklin; Wayne (Mildred) Barrett; and Don (Beatrice) Lenz; her cousin, Peggy Amendola; and the Sisters of St. Joseph. In addition to her parents, Sister Theonilla was predeceased by six brothers: George, Leo, Frederick, William, Earl and Robert; six sisters: Isabelle, Laura, Helene, Mildred, Margaret and Sister James Bernard; and many dear friends in the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Sister Mary Theonilla’s funeral Liturgy was held Thursday, February 17, 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 Theonilla’s memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110.