Sposito RSM, Sister Virginia (Gloria Sposito) died at St. Peter’s Hospital, Albany, on Saturday, October 17, 2020, of the COVID 19 virus. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, she was the daughter of the late Julius P. Sposito and Virginia Bonadies Sposito. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Rose, Albany, and a master’s degree from St. Joseph College, West Hartford, Connecticut.
Gloria entered the Franciscan Missionaries of St. Joseph [Mill Hill] in September, 1963. She taught in a girls’ school in Nyabururu, Kenya, after which she returned to Albany and served as Coordinator of the Urban Apostolate in St. Mary’s Parish, Albany. In 1977, Sister Virginia transferred to the Sisters of Mercy. In her early years in Mercy, she served as receptionist/interviewer at the South End Clinic; clerk in Emergency Admissions at Albany Medical Center; and outreach worker at St. John’s/St. Ann’s Parish, all in Albany.
Sister Gini’s first and abiding love was ministry to the elderly. The attraction was mutual; her sister observed that when the two were out together, it was not unusual for older folks to gravitate to Gini, if only to say “hello”. Sister Virginia’s dedication to the elderly was nurtured and enhanced by her experience at the Mount Sinai Hospital Geriatric Clinic in Hartford. She moved on to serve as the Third and Fourth Age Director for the Sisters of Mercy, and Assistant Director of the Albany Senior Services Center. She was especially proud to be a member of the Gerontological Society of America, an organization devoted to research, practice and education in aging. Sister Virginia was “a fixture” at Maria College from 1998 to 2017, where she introduced a Gerontology Certificate program. Gini was ahead of her time in focusing on the needs of the elderly; she had a special gift for engaging seniors, ensuring that they were not set aside or ignored but remained involved in living life to their fullest potential. She was known and respected across the Mercy Institute as the person to consult for current best practice on working with the aging. Not one to sit on the sidelines herself, she kept busy organizing game days and day trips for the seniors while she herself was always the first in line if assistance was needed with a mailing or other activity, and the last to leave. In October, 2019, Sister Virginia received from the Mercy Network on Aging a Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Gerontology “for her dedication to the promise and potential of our Sisters.”
In addition to her parents, Sister Virginia was predeceased by her sister, Roxanne Chuck. She is survived by her sisters, Virginia Nolan and Angela Bordenaro, many nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, and great grandnieces and great grandnephews, as well as by her religious community, the Sisters of Mercy and Mercy Associates. Due to the pandemic, a private burial was held in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, East Greenbush, under the care of Lyons Funeral Home, Rensselaer. At a later date, we will honor her with Mass and a celebration of her life. Those wishing to make a contribution in Sister Virginia’s memory may do so to the Sisters of Mercy, 634 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, NY 12208.
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