A Pittsburgh Sister of Mercy for 64 years, died at UPMC Mercy Hospital on April 13, 2014. Born in Derry, PA, she was 86 years old. Daughter of William F. and Mary Ann (Platt) Nolan, Sister Francine entered the Sisters of Mercy from St. Joseph Parish in Derry in 1949 and made final vows in 1955. Sister Francine earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Mount Mercy College (now Carlow University). She spent more than 40 years teaching in area Catholic schools, including St. Colman, St. Pius V in McKeesport, Our Lady of Fatima, Hopewell Twp., St. Winifred, St. Vincent in Latrobe, and St. Cyril of Alexandria. She also worked as a caregiver at the Children's Center at Carlow. After retiring from education, Sister Francine spent ten years as an assistant to the coordinator of the Convent in Oakland. In 1970, Sister Francine established the first all-day kindergarten in the Diocese of Greensburg. She was named Outstanding Elementary Teacher of America in 1975 and, in 1976, she was named Outstanding Elementary Teacher of Pennsylvania. Sister Linda McCutcheon, a close friend stated, "As her principal, Sister Francine was the best teacher I had ever been around. She was a gift to all the children that she had taught and they loved her in kind. It has been my honor to know her for 44 years." Preceded in death by her parents; brothers; and a sister. Sister Francine is survived by her devoted first cousin, Richard Platt of Greensburg, PA; and nieces and nephews. Friends will be received Tuesday, April 15, 2014, from 1-8 p.m. at the Convent of Mercy, 3333 Fifth Avenue. Funeral Mass will be celebrated Wednesday, April 16, 2014, at noon in the Chapel at the Convent of Mercy, followed by interment in St. Xavier Cemetery, Latrobe. Arrangements entrusted to the EDWARD P. KANAI FUNERAL HOME, 500 Greenfield Avenue. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sisters of Mercy, 3333 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213 or the Carlow University Scholarship Fund.
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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Apr. 15, 2014