Sister Esther Thomas Sexton, 84, passed away at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham, N.Y., Oct. 14. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 54 years.

Sister Esther, the former Mary Anne Sexton, was born Jan. 23, 1931 in Syracuse. She was daughter of the late Thomas and Esther (Quinn) Sexton. A member of Most Holy Rosary Parish and a graduate of Syracuse Central High School, she worked 11 years for the New York Telephone Company and also served as the union representative.

On March 20, 1961, she entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph and professed final vows on August 6, 1968. She received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from The College of Saint Rose, a master’s degree in theology from St. Bonaventure University and certification in spiritual direction from The Spiritual Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

Sister Esther began her religious life in the ministry of education, serving as teacher and principal in schools in the Syracuse Diocese. Later, she served as spiritual-life coordinator in several parishes in the Syracuse Diocese and was a member of the CSJ House of Prayer in Walton.

Sister Esther was a faith-filled, fun-loving woman, devoted to her family, friends and religious community. She was a talented pianist, an accomplished athlete in softball, tennis and golf. She was a strong advocate of justice and human rights, especially for women and the poor and powerless. She will be missed for her vibrant spirit, her love for life, her robust laugh and her passion for helping those most in need.

Sister Esther is survived by her beloved sister, Patricia (T.C.) Sexton, of Syracuse; sisters-in-law, Virginia, Elaine and Mary Jane Sexton; many nieces and nephews and their families; and the Sisters of St. Joseph. In addition to her parents, Sister Esther was predeceased by three brothers, Thomas, James and John Sexton.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Oct. 20, at the chapel of St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham.

Contributions in Sister Esther’s name may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Rd., Latham, N.Y. 12110.

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