HANRAHAN--Sister Virginia, OP of the Dominican Sisters of Hope, Ossining, NY, died on March 21, 2014 at the Wartburg in Mount Vernon, New York. She was 78 years of age. The daughter of the late Joseph and Catharine (O'Neill) Hanrahan, Virginia was born June 23, 1935 in Woodside, New York. Sister Virginia is survived by her three sisters, one brother, nieces, nephews, and by her sisters in the Dominican Sisters of Hope. Sister Virginia (formerly Sister Catherine Joseph) entered the novitiate of the Dominican Sisters of the Sick Poor in September 1953 and soon earned her BS in Nursing from Hunter College and later, an MS in Nursing from Catholic University. She was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the College of New Rochelle in 1980. Upon completion of her studies, Sister Virginia served as community health nurse and Assistant Supervisor with the Dominican Sisters of the Sick Poor in the Bronx. She then became a team nurse and later, the Director of Nursing at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Neighborhood Health Center in the Bronx. From 1994 until her retirement in 2009, Sister Virginia faithfully served as President/Chief Executive Officer of Dominican Sisters Family Health Service, Inc. She was a pioneer in home health care in New York State -- serving as a compassionate and passionate advocate for patients and their families throughout her time with the agency, as well as in the years that followed. Her hard work and leadership helped facilitate the agency's home health care certification in the 1970's. This certification enabled DSFHS to continue the work that Mother Mary Walsh and the Dominican Sisters of the Sick Poor had begun in the 1870's -- providing compassionate health care to all those in need. Sister Virginia's pioneering work with the then small agency helped set the foundation for the kind of quality care that DSFHS delivers today to patients and clients throughout the New York Metropolitan Area. In 1998, Sister Virginia received the Ruth F. Wilson Award, the Home Care Association of New York State's highest accolade and in 1999, she was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for "exceptional humanitarian efforts and outstanding contributions to our country." A viewing will be held on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 from 4:00 to 7:00pm at the Ossining Center of Hope/Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center. There will be a wake at 7:00pm in the same location. A Mass of the Resurrection will be held on Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 10:00am in the Chapel at Mariandale and a burial will follow in the Sisters' Cemetery. Donations can be made in Sister Virginia's memory to Dominican Sisters Family Health Service, 299 North Highland Avenue, Ossining, NY 10562. The Board of Directors, Leadership Team, Staff, and Volunteers of Dominican Sisters Family Health Service will miss Sister Virginia dearly.
Published in New York Times on Mar. 26, 2014.