Sister Eileen Kinnarney
Sister Eileen Kinnarney

Sister Eileen Kinnarney, Daughter of Charity, 98, died at St. Louise House in Albany on Dec. 28, 2020.

Sister Eileen (Eileen Jane) was born in June of 1922 in Framingham, Mass., to Margaret A. (Garvin) and Hubert P. Kinnarney, and grew up in Ashland, Mass., with her brother and two sisters. After high school, Sister Eileen studied nursing at Carney Hospital in Boston and took care of patients at Natick Hospital. At 29, she entered the Daughters of Charity in Emmitsburg, Md., and nursing remained the love of her life.

Sister Eileen was well prepared for hospital ministry. She received a Bachelor of Science from St. Joseph College in Emmitsburg; a master’s in psychiatric nursing from The Catholic University in Washington, D.C., a master’s in public health nursing from the University of Michigan; and an honorary doctorate from Niagara University.

Sister Eileen spent 55 years in a variety of roles — nursing, supervision, administration of departments, CEO, board member, board chair, and finally as a certified chaplain at St. Mary’s Hospital in Troy — striving to improve quality in health-care delivery.

Sister Eileen’s service in health care took her to Washington, D.C; Baltimore, Md.; Bridgeport, Conn.; Southfield, Mich.; Waterville, Maine; and Buffalo and Rochester. For several months in 1980, Sister Eileen responded to an emergency in the camps for displaced persons on the Cambodian border with Thailand where she helped to care for 150,000 refugees who were suffering from malaria, dysentery, typhoid and malnutrition.

Sister Eileen was also assistant novice director for five years, local community superior in five different mission houses, served on the Provincial Council and as provincial assistant from 1972-81 for the Daughters of Charity.

Sister Eileen is survived by her brother-in-law, Lawrence Geoghegan; and her nieces, specifically Eileen Geoghegan and Eileen Warren, and nephews; and her sisters in community. She was predeceased by her two sisters, Virginia Sibson and Kathleen Geoghegan, and her brother, Joseph. A private Funeral Mass was held at St. Louise House on Jan. 4 with interment at St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands.