Sister Clara Gilmartin, CSJ
Sister Clara Gilmartin, CSJ, 92, died Monday, November 12, 2012, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 74 years.
Sister Clara, the former Mary Margaret Gilmartin, was born in Troy, NY, on December 19, 1919, daughter of the late Edward and Mary Flynn Gilmartin. After graduating from Catholic Central High School in Troy, she entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet on March 19, 1938 and professed final vows on August 15, 1943. Sister Clara received a bachelor’s degree in education from The College of Saint Rose and a master’s degree in education from Mount St. Joseph’s Teachers’ College (now Medaille College) in Buffalo. In addition, she pursued post-graduate studies in theology at Providence College. For 47 years, Sister Clara taught in schools in the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses, including: Sacred Heart School and St. Patrick’s School, Utica; St. Ann’s School, Albany; St. Joseph’s School, Green Island; St. Francis de Sales School, Herkimer; St. Vincent de Paul School, Syracuse; St. Agnes School, Cohoes; St. Pius X School, Loudonville; and St. Augustine’s School, St. Joseph’s School and St. Patrick’s School, all in Troy. For the past 25 years, Sister Clara served in the Finance Office at St. Joseph’s Provincial House.
Sister Clara was a dedicated, competent educator whose methodology focused on each child as an individual. Kind, affirming and approachable, Sister Clara placed her students as her top priority, and they thrived under her skill, care and concern. A lifelong learner and an avid reader, Sister Clara kept abreast of world events and had a deep well of wisdom to share. A long-time advocate for those in need, she spent many nights volunteering at Joseph's House and Shelter in Troy, working tirelessly and lovingly on behalf of the poor and homeless. Sister Clara was a faith-filled woman, a devoted aunt and sister, and a loyal friend; her gentle, gracious spirit will be dearly missed.
Sister Clara is survived by her dear sister, Helen Gilmartin McBride (the late James) of Schenectady; by 10 beloved nieces and nephews: Kathleen McBride, Ann McBride, Thomas (Betsy) McBride, James (Sharon) McBride, Mary McBride (Christopher) Capobianco, Joseph (Laurie) Bouchard, Dr. Edward (Jenny) Bouchard, Elizabeth Bouchard, John (Barbara) Bouchard, and Michael (Melissa) Bouchard, Esq.; by 10 great-nieces and great-nephews; by several cousins, including the Taubner family; and by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. In addition to her parents, Sister Clara was predeceased by her brothers, Joseph (Anna Mae), John, and William Gilmartin; by her sister, Elizabeth (Arthur) Bouchard; and by many dear friends in the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Sister Clara’s funeral Liturgy was celebrated on Monday, November 19, at 10:00 a.m. 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 Clara’s memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110.