Sister Mary Anne Brawley, a Daughter of Charity, 81, died June 6 in Binghamton surrounded by her Sisters in Community.
Born May 19, 1934, in Elizabeth, N.J., Sister Mary Anne was one of three children born to Henry and Beatrice Brawley. She graduated from Benedictine Academy in Elizabeth, N.J. in 1952. Sister Mary Anne earned her bachelor of arts degree in English from St. Joseph College in
Emmitsburg, Md. in 1957; her Master’s Degree in Library Science from St. John’s University in Jamaica, N.Y. in 1966; and her master’s degree in Education Administration and Supervision at Canisius College, Buffalo, N.Y. in 1979.
Sister Mary Anne entered the Daughters of Charity in January 1955. She was a member of St. Genevieve Parish in Elizabeth, N.J. when she entered. She recently celebrated 60 years of vocation as a Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.
Sister Mary Anne’s ministry as a teacher took her to Our Lady Queen of Peace School in Washington, D.C. (1956 to 1961); Elizabeth Seton High School in Bladensburg, Md. (1961 to 1963); Seton Catholic High School in Endicott, N.Y. (1963 to 1976) and served as the Local Superior in Endicott from 1970 to 1976; and McCloskey High School in Albany, N.Y. (1976 to 1978). In 1978, Sister Mary Anne served Sisters Hospital in Buffalo during which time she worked toward her master’s degree at Canisius College. She then served at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Elizabeth, N.J. (1979 to 1982) also serving as the Local Superior in Elizabeth from 1979 to 1982. In 1982, Sister joined the Kennedy Center in New York, N.Y. (1982 to 1984). She then served at DePaul Provincial House, Albany, N.Y. in 1984, and served as Sister Servant (Local Superior) there from 1988 to 1991. Sister Mary Anne then moved to St. Vincent’s House in Albany and served as Sister Servant there from 1991 to 1994. Sister Mary Anne served at Sacred Heart Residence in Cohoes, N.Y. (1994 to 1998), and in 1998, served at Clark House in Binghamton, N.Y., where she was assigned to Lourdes Hospital and served as full-time chair of the hospital board for 14 years and as Local Superior from 2005 to 2011.
While at Lourdes, Sister Mary Anne applied her skills and quickly learned the unique language of health care. She endeared herself to physicians, associates and all of the families she came to know in the Triple Cities. In 2012, Sister Mary Anne served at the Sister’s Residence in Buffalo as Local Superior until 2014 and then returned to Clark House in Binghamton.
Sister Mary Anne was preceded in death by her brother Henry “Duke” Brawley and is survived by her sister Noreen (Jack) Bamford of Rhode Island; her nieces: Colleen (Mark) Wamback, Patricia Bamford (Alin Bennett) and Elizabeth (Jeff) Elliott, all from Rhode Island. She is also survived by her many Sisters in the Daughters of Charity community.
Sister Mary Anne was a committed Daughter of Charity, rich in compassion and caring, with a unique ability to listen and respond in prayer and action, and she had a marvelous humor, best summed up by one of her final actions. She prepared her clothing for her burial, neatly packed it in a garment bag with a little note saying: “This is for my last performance!”
A funeral Mass for Sister Mary Anne Brawley was held on June 10 at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Binghamton. Interment was held in Albany at St. Agnes Cemetery.
To honor her many years as an educator in Binghamton and Endicott, a memorial contribution in Sister Mary Anne’s name has been established at Seton Central Catholic High School. Contributions can be made in Sister Mary Anne’s name to the Scholarship Fund at Seton Catholic Central, 70 Seminary Avenue, Binghamton, N.Y. 13905.