Sister Mary Collis, CSJ
Sister Mary Collis, CSJ (Sister Mary Leon), 98, died Sunday, June 4, 2006, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. On March 19, Sister Mary celebrated her 80th anniversary as a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet.
Sister Mary was born in Deerfield (Utica), New York, on September 29, 1907, daughter of the late Leon J. and Ella Bevans Collis. She graduated from UticaFreeAcademy in 1925 and was received into the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1926. Sister Mary received a bachelor’s degree in art from The College of Saint Rose, a bachelor’s degree in library science from The Catholic University of America and a master’s degree in English from The College of Saint Rose. She pursued post-graduate studies in film, theology and Spanish. Sister Mary taught high school math, art and English in schools in the Syracuse and Albany Dioceses and served as librarian in several high schools, at HVCC, at The College of Saint Rose and at St. Joseph’s Provincial House.
Sister Mary had a deep love for God and a true sense of marvel at God’s creation. Throughout her life, she nurtured in herself and others an appreciation of art and literature and a respect for the written and spoken word. Sister Mary’s keen intellect and sense of curiosity directed her life to continuous learning, especially in the areas of theology, current events and social justice, and she challenged many to take active stances against injustices of all kinds.
Sister Mary is survived by four beloved sisters: Helen Luke, Marjorie Cahill and Dorothy Lawless, all of Utica, and Sister Jeanne Anne Collis, CSJ, of Latham; two dear brothers: Wilbur Collis of Waipahu, HI, and Richard Collis of Annandale, VA; 115 nieces and nephews through four generations; and the Sisters of St. Joseph. She was predeceased by two brothers, Ramsay and J. Leon Collis, a sister Genevieve (Pat) McGinty and many friends in the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Sister Mary’s funeral Liturgy was held Wednesday, June 7, 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 Mary’s memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY12110