Sister Barbara Martens died Oct. 21, 2015, in the St. Clare Community of St. Elizabeth Motherhouse in Allegany. She was 98 years old.
Sister Barbara was born July 17, 1917, in Atlantic City, N.J., to Henry and Jule (Calloway) Martens. She joined the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany in 1934, professing final vows in 1941. She attended Medaille College in Buffalo and St. Elizabeth Teachers' College, now St. Bonaventure University. In 1968, she finished a summer inner city program at St. Peter and Paul Parish in Camden, N.J.
Early in her ministry, Sister Barbara taught elementary school students in New York and New Jersey. In 1946, she began serving as principal and superior of several communities in Brazil. She briefly returned to the United States to receive a bachelor's degree before again teaching Brazilian students.
In 1968, she began serving at St. John the Baptist School in West Islip on Long Island, where she remained for 25 years as a library aide, librarian and attendance clerk. After retiring in 1993, Sister Barbara remained active in her community by continuing to volunteer at St. John the Baptist. She later moved to St. Elizabeth Convent in Tampa, Fla., where she lived until 2010. That year, she returned to Allegany.
Sister Barbara is survived by a nephew, Gregory Spina of Naples, Fla.A funeral Mass was held in the chapel of St. Elizabeth Motherhouse, with burial in St. Bonaventure Cemetery in Allegany.