Sister Bernadette Madore, 93

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Marlborough – Sister Bernadette Madore, 93, a Sister of St. Anne, known in religion as Sister Marie Rose Bernadette, died Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011 at the Marie Esther Health Center. She was in the 74th year of Religious Life.

The daughter of the late Joseph and Mina (Fontaine) Madore of Southbridge, she completed her elementary education at Holy Name of Jesus in Worcester and obtained her high school diploma from St. Anne Academy in Marlborough. Sister Bernadette also held a B.A. and B.E.. from the University of Montreal, Quebec and a M.S., and Ph D. from Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

She joined the Sisters of St. Anne in Lachine, Quebec and professed her vows in 1937. After teaching in Montreal schools for 10 years, she returned to the United States to teach at Anna Maria College in Marlborough before completing her doctoral studies. In 1952, Sr. Bernadette was named chairwoman of the Department of Biology and Dean of the College which had moved from Marlborough to Paxton. From that time until her death, she remained connected to the college.

In those years at the Paxton campus, Sr. Bernadette served not only in academic positions, but joined the AMC founders in planning, overseeing and governing the then Women's only Catholic College in the diocese. In the early 1970s, as more men requested admittance to the college, she welcomed and witnessed the arrival of the first co-ed undergraduate class. In honor of her 25 years as Dean, the college created the Sr. Bernadette Madore award, presented annually at commencement to the graduating undergraduate with the highest GPA.

From 1978 to 1993, she served as the fourth president of the college. Under her leadership, Anna Maria College continued to expand and flourish as more programs, students and faculty were added to serve a wider range of needs. Sr. Bernadette wrote a 50-year history of Anna Maria College from its start in 1946 to 1996, together with a postlude to bring the story up to date when it was published in 2000. At an age when others thing of retirement, she became the college's first archivist, a position she continued to enjoy until weeks before her death.

She is survived by her sister, Irene Lafleche of Southbridge; nieces and nephews; and her Sisters in Community. She was predeceased by two brothers and three sisters.

Sr. Bernadette will be waked Thursday, Oct. 13, from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 6 to 7 p.m., at St. Anne Convent, 720 Boston Post Road East, Marlborough, with a prayer service at 4 p.m. The funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday, Oct. 14, at 10 a.m., in the Convent Chapel with burial in St. Mary Cemetery of Marlborough. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Fitzgerald & Collins Funeral Home of Marlborough.

Memorial contributions may be made to Sisters of St. Anne Retirement Fund, 720 Boston Post Road East, Marlborough, MA 01752 or to a charity of your choice.