Sister Rita Haber, CSJ
Sister Rita Catherine Haber (Sister Mary Rosina), 95, died Friday, February 17, 2017, at Community Hospice Inn, St. Peter’s Hospital, Albany. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 70 years.
Sister Rita was born on January 31, 1922, in Schenectady, NY, the oldest child of John and Mary Catherine Kohlhepp Haber. After graduating from Mont Pleasant High School, Sister Rita attended The College of Saint Rose and received a bachelor’s degree in commerce in 1943. Upon graduation, she began her teaching career at Oppenheim-Ephratah Central School in Johnstown, working summers at General Electric. On March 19, 1947, Sister Rita entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Troy, NY, and professed final vows on August 15, 1952. She received a master’s degree in business education from The Catholic University of America and a master’s degree in accounting from the University at Albany (SUNY). In 1949, Sister Rita began a 35-year career at The College of Saint Rose as an instructor in business subjects, mathematics and German and as Registrar. She also served the Sisters of St. Joseph as assistant director and superior of the Carondelet House of Studies and as Provincial House Treasurer.
Sister Rita had a mind for business and a heart for relationships. In her teaching career, she effectively conveyed to her students the need for keen business acumen combined with an ability to build cohesive relationships in the workplace. She was able also to reflect such a model in her own office leadership positions. Sister Rita had a strong work ethic, always practical, organized and willing to learn. Blessed with a quick wit and the ability to converse on a wide array of topics, Sister Rita enjoyed the simple pleasure of visiting with family and friends. While her consuming passions were her faith, her family, her religious community and her friends, she also enjoyed a good book and a box of chocolates! Sister Rita was a devoted Sister of St. Joseph and loving sister and friend; she will be dearly missed.
Sister Rita is survived by two brothers, James (Linda) and Donald (Mary Ellen) Haber; two sisters, Lottie (John) Burke and Claudia (Polly) (Henry) Brodsky; several nieces and nephews and their families; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. In addition to her parents, Sister Rita was predeceased by her brother, John Haber; and by her sisters, Ruth Willsie, Mary Fay and Cora Antes.
Sister Rita was a participant in the Anatomical Gift Program at Albany Medical College and donated her remains for medical education and research. Her Memorial Mass was celebrated on Monday, February 27, 2017, in the chapel of St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. A prayer service honoring Sister Rita’s life was held in the chapel of the Provincial House on Sunday, February 26.
Contributions in Sister Rita’s name may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Rd., Latham, NY 12110.