Sister Noel Doescher, Maryknoll Sister for 68 Years

 Sister Noel Marie Doescher, a Maryknoll Sister for 68 Years Dies

Dorothy Doescher

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Noel Marie Doescher died on February 12, 2017 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY.  She was 91 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 68 years.

Born on January 10, 1926, in Rochester, NY to Louise (Hartigan) and George Doescher, she was baptized Dorothy Louise.  She had two sisters, Mrs. Thomas Fox, (Virginia) and Mrs. John E. Grace, (Carol).  Her parents and her sister Carol have predeceased her.

In 1943, she graduated from Nazareth Academy, Rochester, NY and worked as a clerk at Eastman Kodak Company until 1948.  She attended night school at Nazareth College for one semester during 1947-1948.

On September 4, 1948, Dorothy entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate from St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Rochester, NY at the Maryknoll Sisters Center.  At the Reception of her habit she received the religious name, Sister Noel Marie.

Sister Noel made her First Profession of Vows on March 7, 1951 and her Final Vows on March 7, 1954 all at the Maryknoll Sisters Center.

From 1950-1951, she attended Maryknoll Teachers College.  She then studied at St. Catherine Laboure Hospital, Dorchester, MA earning her RN in 1954. Following graduation she was assigned to Kandy, Ceylon, (Sri Lanka) from 1954 to 1962.  When the mission was closed, she returned to the United States to work at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in the nursing facility for a year.  The following year she moved to Monrovia, CA and worked at the Maryknoll Sisters hospital for tuberculosis patients.  In 1968, Sister Noel was assigned to Kenya, Africa and after a year of language study worked in the government hospital in Malindi until 1971.  In 1972, she moved to Kitale at the invitation of the Bishop of El Doret Diocese where she and her closest friend Maryknoll Sister, Sr. Paula Kuntz, opened a clinic, trained health workers for the clinic and provided Public Health Programs. They also initiated work with women in literacy classes and income producing projects.  From 1986-1994, their work included pastoral work in the parish.

In 1994, Sr. Noel returned to the United States to give service at the Maryknoll Sisters Center until 1999.  She then returned to Kitale where she did clinic work, helped establish a woman’s knitting group and began working with handicapped children and the elderly. She returned to Maryknoll, NY in 2007 where she did clerical work in the Congregation’s Communications Office up until the very last days of her life.  Typical of her generous nature, Sister Noel donated her body to science.