Sister Virginia May, OSF, died July 30, 2017, at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse in Allegany. She was 91.
Virginia Margaret May was born June 28, 1926, in Worcester, Mass., to John and Anna (Kelleher) May. After graduating from high school, she became certified as an RN at St. Vincent Hospital School of Nursing in Worcester, Mass., graduating in 1947. She joined the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany in 1950, and professed her final religious vows in 1957.
She began serving at St. Clare Hospital in New York City and studied at St. John University in Brooklyn, earning a bachelor's degree in nursing in 1957. The following year, she began serving at St. Joseph Hospital, Providence, R.I., where she was a charge nurse for seven years.
In 1965, Sister Virginia was one of four Allegany Franciscans who was assigned to a mission in Bolivia, where she was a clinical nurse and health educator. In 1977, she returned to the United States to serve as a nurse at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse, later being promoted to director of nursing.
In 1981, she began serving at St. Anthony Hospital in Winsted, Conn., as a staff nurse until 1994, when she retired from active ministry. However, she continued to serve the order at convents in New York and Massachusetts until 2004, when she returned to St. Elizabeth Motherhouse.
She is survived by two brothers, Martin and Kevin; and nine sisters, Sheila Courchaine, Catharine LaPointe, Barbara Boria, Regina Bleau, Elizabeth Coleman, Grace May, Marion Falcone, Mary Congdon, Margaret May and Maureen May; as well as nieces and nephews.
A funeral Mass will be held on Aug. 3 in the chapel of St. Elizabeth Motherhouse, with burial in St. Bonaventure Cemetery in Allegany.