Sister Ida C. DeCastro, CSJ, (Sister Maria Francesca), 91, died Thursday, October 17, 2019, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 66 years.
Born in Oswego, NY, on July 18, 1928, Sister Ida was the daughter of the late Peter and Mary Alteri DeCastro. After graduating from Oswego High School and Rochester Business Institute, Sister Ida worked for the American Red Cross. On March 19, 1953, she entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Troy, NY, and professed final vows on August 15, 1960.
Sister Ida received a bachelor’s degree in business education from The College of Saint Rose and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame. She began her ministry in education by teaching business subjects in high schools in the Albany Diocese and then served for 30 years at The College of Saint Rose as assistant business manager, director of financial aid, instructor of business, assistant professor of business and associate professor of business. In 2001 after a 30-year career at Saint Rose, Sister Ida began a 14-year stint with Sisters Care, a respite-care program sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Albany Province. Sister Ida retired to St. Joseph’s Provincial House in 2015 where she volunteered in the library and brought joy to the community.
Sister Ida was a warm, down-to-earth woman whose good sense and practical nature were enhanced by a wit and wisdom born of experience and grace. Her skill at honoring perspectives different from her own and her deep respect for others brought out the best in Sister Ida’s students and colleagues, generated a collaborative spirit in the workplace and demonstrated Sister Ida’s gift for creating harmony. Her compassion and kindness brought comfort and hope to the elderly for whom she cared. Sister Ida’s happiest times were spent with her beloved family and friends where she showered them with hospitality through her warm welcome, wonderful meals, engaging conversations and just plain fun. Sister Ida was an extraordinary woman of faith who lived her life to the full, and all of us are richer because of her presence among us.
Sister Ida is survived by her beloved sisters and brothers: Teresa Hastings, Catherine DiNolfo, Dominic DeCastro and Milo DeCastro; several nieces and nephews and their families; many cousins and friends; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.
Sister Ida’s wake will be held in the chapel of St. Joseph's Provincial House, Latham, on Thursday, October 24, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. with the prayer service at 7:00 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held in the chapel of the Provincial House on Friday, October 25, at 10:30 a.m. Donations in Sister Ida’s memory may be made to the Development Office, Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet Shaker Road, Latham, NY, 12110.