Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletOctober 22, 2019

In Remembrance

Sister Elizabeth Mary Gregware, CSJ


Sister Elizabeth Mary Gregware, CSJ (Sister Mary Francina), 97, died Thursday, March 21, 2019, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham, NY. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 74 years.

Sister Elizabeth was born on November 29, 1921 in Green Island, NY, daughter of the late Louis and Laura Shepard Gregware. After attending Catholic Central High School in Troy, Sister Elizabeth worked at Frontier Machine Company and Ford Motor Company, both in Green Island, and in two family grocery stores—Benac’s and Gregware’s.

On March 19, 1945, Sister Elizabeth entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Troy, and professed final vows in August 15, 1950. She received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from The College of Saint Rose and, for 20 years, taught elementary grades and catechetics in schools and parishes in the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses.

In 1967, Sister Elizabeth began a 25-year career at The College of Saint Rose as assistant supervisor of personnel, staff member in the printing and mail rooms and advisor for “domestics,” the latter a term given to workers who were part of the depopulation of state care facilities and movement into community-centered treatment and supervised job training. As such an advisor, Sister Elizabeth supervised Mary, Arlene, Lucy and Mae while the four lived and worked at The College of Saint Rose and later cared for their needs as the women retired and until their deaths.

Sister Elizabeth was a woman of deep faith, determined, dedicated and disciplined. She could build or repair just about anything and did so unobtrusively, with a beautiful smile and with remarkable generosity of time and talent.  Devoted to the Blessed Mother, Sister Elizabeth was active in the pro-life movement, especially as it relates to unborn children, participated in many public demonstrations and spent hours in private prayer. For 50 years, Sister Elizabeth focused her life on the loving care of Mary, Arlene, Lucy and Mae all of whom predeceased her. Like St. Joseph, our patron, Sister Elizabeth was humble, practical, hardworking and faithful, and we will miss her gentle presence among us.

Sister Elizabeth is survived by her cousins, Anne Marie Benac Wright, Anne Rule and Leanne Roberts; her friends, Ralph Randio and Fr. John Kostek; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. In addition to her parents, Sister Elizabeth was predeceased by her cousin, Robert Benac, and her friend, Joan Clough.

Sister Elizabeth’s wake was held at St. Joseph's Provincial House, Latham, on Tuesday, March 26, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. with a prayer service at 7:00 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial was held at the Provincial House on Wednesday, March 27, at 10:30 a.m. Donations in Sister Elizabeth’s memory may be made to the Development Office, Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, 385 Watervliet Shaker Road, Latham, NY, 12110.