Sister Marie Celeste Sullivan, OSF, died Sept. 7, 2016, at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse in Allegany. She was 87 years old.
The former Claire Marie Sullivan was born March 18, 1929, in Boston, the daughter of Daniel and Katherine "Kitty" (Cunniff) Sullivan, and grew up in Massachusetts. She joined the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany in 1953 and professed final vows in 1960.
Sister Marie Celeste served at St. Joseph's Hospital in Providence, R.I., for eight years before returning to the Western New York area to study at St. Bonaventure University. She received a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1965.
For most of her life, Sister Marie Celeste served in Florida. She began serving at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa in 1965 and transferred to the hospital's new location that opened in 1967. She served as the hospital's CEO from 1970 until 1993, during which it saw many advancements, including the opening of a radiation therapy center, cancer institute, mental health center, and women and children's hospital. Additionally, in her tenure, the hospital expanded to include St. Joseph's Hospital North and South.
Later, Sister Marie Celeste served as CEO of Allegany Health System from 1993-97, when she retired. She also served as coordinator of health affairs for the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Fla.
She is survived by her sister, Eileen Callaghan, six nephews and two nieces.
A funeral Mass was held in the chapel of St. Elizabeth Motherhouse, after which Sister Marie Celeste was buried in St. Bonaventure Cemetery, also in Allegany.