Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletOctober 22, 2019

In Remembrance

Sister Marcia Allen, CSJ


Sister Marcia Allen, CSJ, age 100, died Thursday, July 18, 2019, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 82 years.

Sister Marcia, the former Dorothy Marie Allen, was born in Troy, NY, on May 3, 1919, daughter of the late Elmer and Catherine Reardon Allen. After graduating from Catholic Central High School, she entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph on March 19, 1937, and professed final vows on August 15, 1942. Sister Marcia received a bachelor’s degree in French and a master’s degree in French, both from The College of Saint Rose.

Sister Marcia spent the first 15 years of her life as a Sister of St. Joseph teaching grades 7 and 8 and then 45 more years teaching French and Latin in schools of the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses; her longest tenure was at Catholic Central High School, Troy, where she taught French for 20 years and served as the chairperson of the language department. After 60 years of teaching, Sister Marcia began a second career in home health care and worked for nearly 10 years as a companion/aide for the elderly with Eddy Memorial Geriatric Center, the Ann Lee Home and Sisters Care, a ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. In 2007, at age 88, Sister Marcia retired to the ministry of full-time prayer.

Sister Marcia was a gracious, prayerful woman who greeted people with kind words and a welcoming smile.  A gifted teacher of languages, Sister Marcia’s love of French, passion for teaching and sound methodology created an atmosphere which made the French language and culture engaging to her students and inspired them to excel in both written accuracy and oral fluency. To keep herself up to date on the highest standards and best methods of instruction, Sister Marcia was an active member of the American Association of Teachers of French and enjoyed the accompanying spirit of professional solidarity and mutual helpfulness. Later as a home health aide, Sister Marcia brought her compassion and gentle presence to homebound elderly. Deeply devoted to her family, she was so proud of the educational and occupational accomplishments of each generation. Sister Marcia centered her life in prayer, community and ministry, and her special gift for spreading joy and friendship in the spirit of Christ permeated her every action. Her dear memory will live on in her family’s memories, in the hearts of the thousands of students and senior citizens she served, and in the gratitude and affection of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Sister Marcia is survived by her beloved nieces and nephews: Jeannine Mannix, William Snyder, Sr., Gerard Snyder, Donald Snyder, Hector Allen, and Peter Shields; many, many great and great-great nieces and nephews, with special mention of Bill and Lisa Snyder whose frequent visits brought Sister Marcia much joy; and the Sisters of St. Joseph. In addition to her parents, Sister Marcia was predeceased by her brothers: Frederick, Elmer, James and Hector Allen; by her sisters, Katherine Shields and Elizabeth Snyder; and by her nieces and nephews: John Snyder, Jr., Elizabeth Snyder, Williams Shields, Katherine Shields and Pat Allen Topping.

Sister Marcia’s wake was held in the chapel of St. Joseph's Provincial House, Latham, on Thursday, July 25. The Mass of Christian Burial was held in the chapel of the Provincial House on Friday, July 26.

Donations in Sister Marcia’s memory may be made to the Development Office, Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet Shaker Road, Latham, NY, 12110.