Sister Kathleen truly implemented the College of Mount Saint Vincent’s legacy in word and action—Teach Me Goodness and Discipline and Knowledge.
Sister Kathleen Tracey, formerly Sister Kathleen Marie, was born December 16, 1925, in Teaneck, New Jersey. She was the oldest of three children, two daughters and one son of Joseph and Kathleen Rogers Tracey. Kathleen attended St. Anastasia Elementary School in Teaneck, St. Cecilia High School in Englewood, New Jersey, and the College of Mount St. Vincent, the Bronx, earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Upon graduation, Kathleen worked for two years in bacteriology research at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, before entering the Sisters of Charity of New York on September 8, 1950.
In 1955, Sister Kathleen earned an MS and a PhD in biology from Fordham University. While studying for these degrees, she taught biology at St. John the Evangelist High School, White Plains, Fordham University, and the College of Mount St. Vincent. She completed post-doctoral studies in radiation biology at the University of Chicago and the University of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Her sixty years of ministry were dedicated to the mission of the College of Mount St Vincent and to teaching its virtues of Goodness, Knowledge and Discipline.
In Sister Kathleen’s years at the College, she served as Associate Professor, Professor, and Chair of the Biology Department, opening the wonders of biology to hundreds of students and inspiring and mentoring many to pursue graduate studies in biology, genetics, medicine, and biochemistry. She established the Institute for Aquatic Research, one of the first undergraduate programs in marine biology in the country, with a research station in Nassau, Bahamas, introduced the first bioethics course on the undergraduate level and proposed new courses that established an outstanding science curriculum at the College.
After twenty-seven years in the Biology Department, Sister Kathleen offered her talents and knowledge as an Administrator and Associate Vice-President for Advancement. She served in this capacity for the next twenty-nine years, twenty as director of the Mount’s cooperative program with Manhattan College. After retiring from active ministry, Sister Kathleen offered additional years in voluntary service to the institution with which her name is forever inseparable.
In 1998, Sister Kathleen received the Alumna Award of Distinction, acknowledging her contributions to society in general. In 2011, she was named among the 25 Bronx Influential Women for her key role in the success of the College, and in 2015, the College inaugurated the Kathleen Tracey S.C. Medal for Service and Leadership.
Sister Kathleen retired at Mount St. Vincent Convent in 2017 and in 2019 joined the retirement community of Sisters of Charity at Cabrini of Westchester in Dobbs Ferry, New York. She died here on July 21, 2022, in her 72nd year of commitment as a Sister of Charity of New York.
Sister Kathleen, you go to your God with belief in the resurrection of Jesus and hope in eternal life. We are grateful for your life and gifts shared with us and your students. You are a woman of God, a woman of science, a woman of strength.
Date of Death
July 21, 2022
Thursday, July 28, 2022
Prayer Service at 10:00 a.m.
Smith Hall, College of Mount St. Vincent
(Masks highly recommended)
6301 Riverdale Ave.
Bronx, NY 10471
Live Streaming begins at 10:00 a.m.: https://venue.streamspot.com/99dfc6ed
Thursday, July 28, 2022
Chapel of the Immaculate Conception
College of Mount St. Vincent
(Masks highly recommended)
Live streaming begins at 11:00 a.m.: https://venue.streamspot.com/ca093c2a
St. Joseph Cemetery, Hackensack, NJ
Archdiocese of New York
- College of Mount St. Vincent 1953-2017
- Fordham University 1953-1955
- St. John Evangelist HS, White Plains 1955-1957
It is with sadness that I learn of Sister Kathleen Tracey’s passing but it is with joy that I remember and celebrate my association with her through the years.
May she rest in peace.
Carol Day Schofield
1960 MSV graduate
I was a biology student 1969-1973 at CMSV. My time included two trips to the Bahamas with Sister Kathleen and I was in the first class of Bioethics taught at CMSV. Sister Kathleen’s influence kept me on track to become a biologist and I successfully worked in that field for 36 years. Rest In Peace, Sister Kathleen, and thank you!
A selfless inspiration for her students.. Applying the right combination of encouragement and support, while demanding you to live up to you potential. One of the finest teachers I have known. Our Bahama Moma. Will never forget her enthusiasm as she showed her Marine Biology students the wonders of ocean life..The angels will soon be getting snorkeling lessons.
Eternal Rest grant to her O Lord and may perpetual light shine upon her.. Your life in the Religious Life was filled with many accomplishments. Thank you for answering His Call
As a family friend, I’ve known Sister Kathleen over four decades. Always a delight, she took great pleasure in sharing stories about family life in Teaneck, her dedicated pursuits as a Mount Saint Vincent advocate, her cherished life as a teacher, and great adventures in the Bahamas. Her vast knowledge and memory of people, places, and things never left her, and neither did its effects on her adoring students who kept in touch over the years. To loosely quote D.L. Moody, “You will read that she has died, but don’t believe it. In the presence of Christ, she is more alive than she has ever been.” Love you, Kathleen.
I have known Sister Kathleen since I was 15 years old when my sister Ann Gisolfi began her studies in biology at the Mount. Eventually I followed in her footsteps, always with Kathleen’s encouragement. She and her sister Virginia became wonderful friends of our family. I have so many fond memories of dinners shared, full of conversation and laughter. She and Virginia even drove out to Iowa to visit my first born son. It never mattered where I lived. I always felt her love, consideration and compassion. She was the most selfless person I’ve ever known. A true person of God and an inspiration to all she exemplified charity.
She made the College of Mount Saint Vincent a better place and the Sisters of Charity were lucky to have her.
May she Rest In Peace! Your memory will live on not only in your work and deeds but in our hearts! I loved her!
Sister Kathleen Tracey simply was the best. As a gifted educator, she strove to expose students to her ever expanding knowledge of the biological sciences through a careful selection of course offerings. As a skillful mentor, she encouraged, supported and championed her family, students and friends through judicious poking, prodding and guiding, to not only set and achieve goals but also to succeed. (I am one of those who benefited from such, not always gentle, prodding and am ever thankful to Sr. Kathleen for her efforts.) As the best person that she could be, she lived up to her ideals and shined in both the secular and religious worlds. As the most ardent crusader for the College of Mount St. Vincent, she fulfilled the legacy of Elizabeth Seton, S.C. and the educational mission of the Sisters of Charity. I am blessed that she was my best friend.
Words seem inadequate to describe my best friend and mentor. She was not only kind, thoughtful, understanding but a magnificent lady who carried out God’s work beautifully. Yes, I shall miss her wisdom and dazzling smile. Sr. Kathleen will always be in my heart and prayers. All my love, Your Rose
I first met Sister Kathleen in 1965 when I transferred to Mount Saint Vincent as a Junior. I had to make up some of her Sophomore classes, so was fortunate to experience 3 years of her vast knowledge in 2.
I met her again a few years later at a Gisolfi family gathering and was quickly “scouped up” into her”family” of friends.
I cherish all the stories and knowledge, kindness and love she has shared over the years since.
Sister Kathleen Tracy is one of those very special people that God gifts us in our lifetime!
I will remember you and am grateful for you always.
Love you Kathleen!
I fondly remember Sr. Kathleen at Cabrini of Westchester Nursing Home.
All the Cabrini Sisters will miss here, especially in the Chapel and all our favorite place, the local “cafe”. May she now find peace and joy in the God’s presence.
Thank you for your example and service as a Sister of Charity.
Sister Kathleen was my mentor and friend for 60 years, ever since I took my first biology class at the Mount. Hers was a life of joy, in knowledge, in her people, and in service. Her open-hearted influence leaves a treasured mark on so many. Rest well, Kathleen, we love you.
I have warm memories of Sister Kathleen. As an art major, I never had her in class nor had much reason to interact. But when I worked in Campus Ministry from 1996 to 2001, I was welcomed by the sisters in Marillac to stay overnight when I needed to as I lived 80 miles away. That turned out to be one, sometimes two nights per week over the 5 years. I was often invited to join them for supper.
She treated me like a relative, I felt as though she and the other sisters were like aunties to me. One day Sr. Kathleen said she was invited to a Mass to open the year at the UN, would I drive her? Who me?
“Sure” said I. And I totally enjoyed the experience of an international mass, presided by Cardinal Egan and attended by Kofi Annan, his wife and other dignitaries. Sr Kathleen was enraptured by the singing of St Patrick’s Cathedral Choir, and got the “big hello” as we shook the Cardinal’s hand at the door. And then, we had a meal together at a famous nearby restaurant.
Warm memories, God bless that dear woman, Sr. Kathleen. I feel graced to have known her.
Very sad news!
Sister Kathleen was one of the only chemistry teachers to make anything about chemistry make sense to me. She encouraged me to read the chapters over and over again and took the time to explain the formulas and information in a rational manor. She also spent countless extra hours with students who had any difficulty. I may have switched majors and became involved in radio and other media platforms but the valuable lessons of reading material until you understood its full meaning is a lesson for every profession and I thank you for your kindness in teaching that many forget is the key to helping others.