Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletOctober 21, 2020

In Remembrance

Sister Ellen Alicia Noonan, CSJ


Sister Ellen Alicia Noonan, CSJ, 92, died Tuesday, April 21, 2020, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 73 years.

Sister Ellen, the former Alice Ellen Noonan, was born on September 29, 1927, in Little Falls, NY, daughter of the late Eugene and Anna Vail Noonan. After graduating from St. Mary’s Academy in Little Falls, Sister Ellen worked for Junket Food Brands in Fonda. On March 19, 1947, Sister Ellen entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Troy, NY, and professed final vows on August 15, 1952.

Sister Ellen received a bachelor’s degree in music from The College of Saint Rose and master’s degree in general educational studies from the University at Albany. For 47 years, she served in the education field as classroom teacher, music teacher, catechetical instructor and librarian in the Albany, Syracuse, Honolulu and Brunswick, GA Dioceses. For the last 16 years of her active ministry, Sister Ellen served as pastoral associate at St. Patrick’s Parish, Binghamton. She retired to St. Joseph’s Provincial House in 2013.

Sister Ellen is survived by her beloved siblings: Eugene Noonan, Ann Unser, Mary Pierce and Rose Sexton; their families; many friends; and the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Sister Ellen Alicia was the rare kind of woman with whom one would be delighted to spend an eternity, or at the very least, share a lifetime in community! Her gifts of nature and grace enabled her to relate to people of all ages; thus, she was as effective a teacher of the very young as she was a minister to the aged, infirm and homebound. Sister Ellen’s warmth, kindness, gentleness, graciousness and compassion were a natural outgrowth of her love of people and her spirit of gratitude for God’s goodness to her. Her quick wit, ready smile, love of music, sense of hospitality, and ability to connect with people came from the genetic footprint of a long list of her Irish Noonan/Vail ancestors. In addition to Sister Ellen’s deep faith in God and abiding love of God’s people, she enjoyed relaxing activities such as knitting, plastic-canvas needlepoint, senior-citizen bus trips, Bingo, Scrabble and gardening. Sister Ellen was a joy, and we will miss her presence among us.

Due to the present health concerns and in keeping with the directives of the CDC and the NYS Department of Health as well as the Albany Diocesan guidelines, there will be no public visitation or funeral services for Sister Ellen Alicia at this time. A Memorial Mass will be scheduled at a later date, and it will be a celebration of a life well lived.