Sister Ruth Cecilia Dowd, CSJ
Sister Ruth Cecilia Dowd, CSJ

Sister Ruth Cecilia Dowd, CSJ, 86, died March 24 at The Grand Rehab and Nursing Home at Barnwell in Valatie. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 68 years.

Sister Ruth was born in Seneca Falls on March 29, 1935, the daughter of Dr. Francis Erwin Dowd and Ruth Cecilia Carroll Dowd. After graduating from St. Aloysius Academy in Rome in 1953, Sister Ruth entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on March 19, 1954, professed her first vows on March 19, 1956 and final vows on Aug. 15, 1961. Sister Ruth earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from The College of Saint Rose in 1966 and a master’s degree in reading from the State University at Albany in 1970.

Sister Ruth taught for 40 years in elementary schools in the Albany and Syracuse dioceses, including very special years at St. Patrick’s School in Syracuse. She loved teaching, especially children in the primary grades. As a teacher, Sister Ruth always went above and beyond what was expected. For her excellence, she received the St. John Baptiste de LaSalle Award for outstanding contributions to Catholic Education in the Diocese of Syracuse. Sister Ruth also served as parish minister and director of Religious Education in parishes in both Albany and Syracuse.

In August of 2019, Sister Ruth retired to St. Joseph’s Provincial House where she remained until she moved to Grand Rehab and Nursing at The Barnwell for further care. Sister Ruth was predeceased by her parents and her brothers, Francis and Richard. She is survived by her sister-in-law, Betty Dowd, her nieces, Colleen Kearins, Patrice Giess, Joan Gleason and Mary O’Leary, her nephews, Thomas and Ned Dowd, and numerous cousins, all of whom lovingly cared for her as she had always for them. Sister Ruth’s memory is also precious to the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Due to continued health concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no public visitation or funeral services for Sister Ruth at this time. A memorial Mass and celebration of her life will be held at a later date.