Sister Damian’s gentleness endeared her to parents and children, especially as a first-grade teacher.
Sister Mary Damian Gardner (Dolores Ann) was born October 1, 1930, in Hawthorne, New York. She was one of five children, four sons and a daughter, of Michael and Dorothea Stavers Gardner. Dolores Ann attended Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas Elementary Schools and Theodore Roosevelt High School, all in the Bronx, before entering the Sisters of Charity of New York on February 2, 1950. Sister Damian received a BA in History from the College of Mount Saint Vincent and New York State Certification in Education.
Sister Damian devoted forty-one years of active ministry to children in the primary grades. Her nine years as a first-grade teacher were at Saint Paul in Brooklyn and Saint Peter in Staten Island. Her eleven years as a second-grade teacher were divided between Saint Gabriel, New Rochelle, and Saint Peter, Poughkeepsie. She was a third-grade teacher for twenty-one years at Saint Mary in the Rosebank section of Staten Island. During the next twenty years, Sister Damian offered her service at the Convent of Mary the Queen in Yonkers, assisting various departments to meet the needs of the retired sisters.
In 2014, Sister Damian moved with other Sisters of Charity to the Kittay Senior Apartments at what is now called The New Jewish Home in the Bronx. In 2016, she moved to Cabrini of Westchester in Dobbs Ferry, New York, to live with the retired community there. Sister Damian died at Cabrini on July 24, 2021, in the seventy-second year of commitment as a Sister of Charity of New York.
Sister Damian’s gentleness endeared her to parents and children, especially as a first-grade teacher. Her natural gifts of simplicity and kindness enabled her to live peacefully with others. She valued friendship and expressed it in loyalty with the friends she made over the years. Any simple gathering of family and friends became a celebration. She is remembered as a friend who remained faithful as advancing years dwindled the circle of friends for others. In trying and difficult times, Sister Damian learned to commit herself to God and to accept that all would work out within that Holy Will.
Sister Damian, our prayer for you is the prayer penned by Saint John Henry Newman:
May God support us all the day long till the shades lengthen and the evening comes
and the busy world is hushed and the fever of life is over and our work is done.
Then in mercy may God give us a safe lodging and a holy rest and peace at last.
Rest in the safe home of God’s loving arms and in the peace promised in God’s eternal YES.
Date of Death
July 24, 2021
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Flynn Memorial Home
1652 Central Park Avenue
Yonkers, New York 10710
Streaming begins at 8:30am: https://venue.streamspot.com/d286a8ab
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
St Margaret of Cortona Church
6000 Riverdale Avenue
Bronx, New York 10471
Streaming begins at 9:45 am: https://venue.streamspot.com/217aa3db
St. Joseph Cemetery
Archdiocese of New York
- St. Peter, Staten Island
1953–61, Teacher, Gr. 1
- St. Gabriel, New Rochelle
1961–63, Teacher, Gr. 2
- St. Mary, Staten Island
1964–1985, Teacher, Gr. 3
- St. Peter, Poughkeepsie
1985–1994, Teacher, Gr. 2
- Convent of Mary the Queen, Yonkers
1994–2014, Auxiliary Services
Diocese of Brooklyn
- St. Paul, Brooklyn
1952-53, Teacher, Gr. 1