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placeholder  January 21, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 2   •   Oakland, CA

Sister Allyne Ayers (Alan), OP

Sister Allyne Ayers, a teacher and principal who served the Diocese of Oakland, died Dec. 31 at the Dominican Sisters Motherhouse in Fremont. She was 84 years of age and had been a Dominican Sister of Mission San Jose for 63 years.

Sister Ayers, born in San Francisco, spent much of her ministry as an elementary school teacher and principal. In the Diocese of Oakland she was the founding principal at St. Joseph School in Fremont and she also served as principal at the School of the Madeleine in Berkeley. She also served at St. Anthony School in San Francisco; St. Nicholas School in Los Altos; Immaculate Conception School in San Francisco; and at St. Mary's School in Ukiah, where she served as principal. Additionally, she served in detention ministry from her assignments to St. Ignatius and St. Frances Cabrini convents in Los Angeles. Her principal ministry since 1994 was the apostolate of prayer.

She is survived by two cousins, many friends and the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose.

The funeral Mass was held Jan. 5 at the Dominican Sisters' Chapel in Fremont, burial followed in God's Acre, the Dominican Sisters' cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Dominican Sisters' Retirement Fund or the Mother Pia Backes Education Fund, 43326 Mission Blvd., Fremont, or the Vision of Hope, 1555 34th Ave., Oakland, CA 94612.

Sister Patricia Carole Vartanian, SP

Sister Patricia Vartanian, who worked in the finance department at Providence Hospital in Oakland, died Dec. 26 at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. She was 69 years of age and had been a Sister of Providence for 51 years.

Born in Hanford, Connecticut, she attended St. Finbar Grade School and graduated from Providence High School in Burbank, California. She was in sixth grade when she knew that she was called to religious life.

She joined the Providence Sisters in 1960 and took Sister John Marie as her religious name. She also attended Seattle University taking classes at Providence Heights in Issaquah, Washington. She made her first profession in 1963 and her final vows in 1968. After graduating from Seattle University in 1965, she continued her education by taking courses for a number of years at colleges in Washington before attending the University of California in Berkeley. She later earned a master of public health degree at UC Berkeley.

She was a teacher at schools in Washington and Alaska from 1965-1971. She also served in accounting and finance offices at medical facilities sponsored by her religious community. From 1975-1983, she worked at Providence Hospital in Oakland.

She held certificates as a certified kinesionics practitioner, therapeutic reflexologist, massage therapy, and was licensed through the professional massage program of Ashmead College in Seattle. And she was a member of the American Massage Therapy Association.

The obituary from the Providence Sisters noted that Sister Vartanian saw her ministries in finance as "a way of serving the poor through sound financial management of the resources available to each ministry so that patients and residents would have all that they needed for healing and skilled care." She also held numerous positions on committees and foundations that distribute funds for those in need.

She is survived by her brother John from Visalia, California, and eight nieces and three nephews.

The funeral Mass was held Jan. 4 at St. Joseph Residence in Seattle. Burial followed at Calvary Cemetery in Seattle.

Sister Joan Griffin, OSF

Sister Joan Griffin, a former principal at St. Isidore School in Danville, died on Jan. 13 at the age of 86. She had been a professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia for 67 years.

Sister Griffin was born in Liskennett, Croom, County Limerick in Ireland where she was a member of St. Lawrence Parish in Banogue. She joined the congregation in 1944 and professed her first vows two years later. She graduated with both a bachelor of science and master's degrees in education from Seattle College. She served as a teacher or principal in elementary and high schools for most of her life.

In the Oakland diocese she served as principal at St. Isidore in Danville for nine years.

Sister Griffin also served at schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Diocese of San Bernardino and the Diocese of Seattle. She received Schoolmaster of the Year Award in Contra Costa County for 1978-79, and the St. Bernardine Award for service in San Bernardino County in 2006.

Sister Griffin moved to Aston, Pennsylvania, in 2007. For three years she was a school volunteer and then moved back to Aston in 2011. She served in prayer ministry until her death.

Survivors include two sisters, Bridie Griffin and Christina Harty; a brother, James Griffin; and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by two sisters, Sister Anthony Consilia Griffin and Sister Anthony Philomena Griffin, who were also members of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia.

The funeral Mass was held Jan. 18 at Assisi House in Aston, Pennsylvania; burial followed at Our Lady of Angels Cemetery, also in Aston.

— Carrie McClish

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