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Sister Bernice Florence Babin, 99, Of Maryknoll In Ossining

Sister Bernice Florence Babin
Sister Bernice Florence Babin Photo Credit: Contributed

OSSINING, N.Y. -- Sister Bernice Florence Babin, MM, a nurse who served at one of the first racially integrated hospitals in the United States, as well as in several South American countries, died Sunday, Aug. 9, at Maryknoll Sisters Center, Ossining. She was 99.

Born on Aug. 5, 1916, in Plaisted, Maine, to Joseph and Eulalia Labbe Babin, Sister  Bernice graduated from Our Lady of Wisdom Academy, St. Agatha, Maine and then worked for several years as a bookkeeper and stenographer before entering Maryknoll Sisters from St. Lucy’s Parish, Frenchville, Maine, on Aug. 5, 1941.

Following formation, she made her First Vows on March 7, 1944, receiving the religious name, Sister Rose Claire. Following completion of studies in catechetics and religious education at Maryknoll Teachers College, in 1945, Sister Bernice was sent to Bolivia, where she worked at a clinic in Riberalta from 1946-1953.  She then worked in Houston, Kansas City, Chicago, Guatemala and Chile. She returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in 2007, where she lived in retirement, engaged in assisting various offices at the Maryknoll Sisters Center.

In Kansas City, Sister Bernice worked at Queen of the World Hospital, one of the first interracial hospitals in the United States. While there she completed studies in licensed practical nursing.

Sister Bernice is survived by two sisters, Rita McGary of Reno, Nev., and Irene Meissner of Reston, Va.

A vespers service will be held for Sister Bernice on Wednesday, Aug.  12  at 4:15 p.m. in the Chapel of the Annunciation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center at Maryknoll.  A memorial Mass will follow on Thursday, Aug. 16, at 11 a.m., also at the Center. Arrangements handled by the Dorsey Funeral Home, Inc.

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