Sister Eleanor Keeney

March 16, 1923 - November 29, 2013
March 16, 1923 – November 29, 2013

Maryknoll, NY Sister Eleanor Keeney died on Nov. 29, 2013, at Phelps Memorial Hospital, Sleepy Hollow, NY after a fall at Maryknoll, NY. She was 90 years old and celebrated 65 years as a Maryknoll Sister on September 4 of this year.

Eleanor Keeney was born on March 16, 1923, in West Hoboken, NJ to Mary (Dimmick) Keeney and John Keeney. Her parents, a sister, Lorraine and stepfather Stanley Richter have predeceased her. Eleanor graduated from St. Brendan’s 1941 and Jersey City Med. Center-Nursing School with an R.N in 1945. She entered the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation from St. Agatha’s Parish in Brooklyn, NY on September 4, 1948 at the Venard, PA. At her Reception, she received the religious name Sister Regina Michael.

She made her First Profession of Vows on March 7, 1951, at the Maryknoll Sisters Motherhouse, Ossining, NY, and was assigned to Kandy Government Hospital in Ceylon, (now Sri Lanka), where she served as nurse and Assistant Director of Nurses until 1959. She made her Final Profession of Vows on March 7, 1954. In 1959, Sister Eleanor moved to Kundasale, Ceylon, to the Maternity Hospital and parish work. In 1962, the government expelled all foreigners and she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center where she served in the Infirmary until 1967 when she was assigned to Northeast Thailand where she operated a mobile medical clinic until 1969. It was then that she was called back to be the Director of Nurses and Health Coordinator at Bethany House, which was the Maryknoll Sisters nursing facility in Ossining, NY, at that time.

From 1970 to 1972 Sister Eleanor studied at Maryknoll Rogers College and then from 1972–1974 at the University of Connecticut where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. From 1974 -1980 she was a Public Health Nurse with the Visiting Nurse Service of Westchester County, NY, and in 1981 she was assigned to work as Coordinator of Health Services in Monrovia, CA. for two years.

In 1983, Sister Eleanor was assigned to Zimbabwe as Director of Nurses and Administrator at St. Albert’s Mission Hospital. In 1987, she moved to Gweru, Zimbabwe, to care for the terminally ill in Pastoral Home Nursing and Hospice work and as a volunteer for Red Cross nurses.

From 1997 to 2007, Sister Eleanor volunteered her services in Hendersonville, NC, at the Pardee Health Care Center and served on the Council for the Aging while also visiting the needy and aged. In 2009, Sister Eleanor returned to Maryknoll, NY.

A Vespers Service was held on Monday, December 9, 2013, at 4:15 P.M. The Mass of Christian Burial followed on Tuesday, December 10, 2013, at 11:00 A.M., both in the Chapel of the Annunciation in the Maryknoll Sisters Center

Burial will be in the Maryknoll Sisters’ Cemetery. Dorsey Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.