Sister Rose Lea Wirth, CSJ
Sister Rose Lea Wirth, CSJ, 94, died on Good Friday, April 22, 2011, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham, NY. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 76 years.
Sister Rose Lea was born Anna Marie Wirth in Syracuse, NY, on December 9, 1916, daughter of the late William and Lea Ochsner Wirth. After graduating from St. Vincent de Paul High School, Syracuse, Sister Rose entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph on August 15, 1935; she professed first vows on August 15, 1937 and final vows on August 15, 1940. Sister Rose attended Mt. St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles, CA, and received a bachelor’s degree in education from The College of Saint Rose. For 41 years, she taught elementary grades and secondary art, English and French in schools in the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses as well as in California and Arizona. Upon her retirement from the ministry of education, Sister Rose volunteered at St. Joseph’s Provincial House in various in-service capacities.
Sister Rose Lea was a superb educator, a gifted artist and a published poet. Humble and gentle by nature, she gave of herself wholeheartedly in her prayer life, in the classroom, in Bright Horizons, in the woodworking shop, in the computer lab and in her many friendships. As her health declined, Sister Rose continued to minister to her caregivers, her family and her friends with her welcoming words and her gracious smile. Sister Rose’s daily choices, her priorities and even her voting record were directed by her life of faith and service, her dedication to the common good and her compassion for the poor, the disenfranchised and the struggling. Sister Rose Lea was a fine woman of principle and wisdom, and she will be dearly missed.
Sister Rose Lea is survived by her beloved family: one brother, Charles (Marie) Wirth of Southwick, MA; one sister, Margaret (Mickey) Brown of Syracuse; nieces and nephews: Frederick Stanmyre, Charles (Josie) Stanmyre, Mary (Charles) Maggio, Elizabeth (Denny) Hoadley, Karen (Eric) Joss, William (Brenda) Brown, Patricia (Rusty) Tassini, Richard (Margaret) Wirth, Christine (Charles Normand) Wirth, and Nancy (Thomas) Roehl; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. In addition to her parents, Sister Rose was predeceased by her brother William Wirth; her sister, Lea Stanmyre; and many friends in the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Sister Rose Lea’s funeral Liturgy was held on Wednesday, April 27, 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 Rose Lea’s memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110.