A Funeral Mass for Mary Rita Dana, age 93, of Clarksburg and formerly of Ogdensburg will be held on Friday (August 19, 2011) at 10:00 a.m. at Notre Dame Church with Rev. F. James Shurtleff officiating. Entombment will follow the service at Foxwood Memorial Park. Local arrangements are with Fox & Murray Funeral Home.
Mary passed away on Wednesday Aug 10, 2011 at her residence following a brief illness. She was born September 8, 1917 in Ogdensburg, a daughter of the late Norman J. Dana and Lulu M. Endersbee Dana.
In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by three brothers, David Lawrence Dana, Carl Ambrose Dana and John Norman Dana.
She is survived by nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.
Mary attended Saint Mary’s Grade School and graduated in 1937 from Saint Mary’s Academy. In September, 1941 she graduated from A. Barton Hepburn Hospital School of Nursing. She did general duty and special duty until January 31, 1942. At that time, she accepted a Federal Scholarship to the Catholic University of America. She graduated from the Catholic University in May of 1944 with a B.S. degree in nursing education and helped to rebuild the nursing program at the Sisters Hospital in Buffalo, New York, where she taught nursing arts. After two years, she became the Assistant Director of Nursing.
In 1951 she joined the University of Buffalo Faculty and taught nursing arts for three years. She returned to Canisius College in Buffalo to complete her Masters in education, in June 1956. She spent two years at D’Youville College in Buffalo as a clinical instructor at Our Lady of Victory Hospital in Lackawanna, New York.
She was veteran of the United States Air Force stationed at Air University in Montgomery, Alabama for three years. In May of 1956, she received the rank of Captain and December of 1972 she received the rank of Major USAFR. During those three years, she accomplished many tasks, including completing a graduate masters course in reading in the fall of 1956 from Auburn University. While in Montgomery, Mary served as first President of the Catholic Woman's Chapel and first director of nursing.
On August 3, 1959, she became an assistant chief, Nursing Service for Education which later became Associate Chief Nursing Service for Education. In May of 1963 she was transferred to Baltimore VA Medical Center, 1964 to Huntington VA Medical Center and in 1968 to the VA Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia. During her assignment in Augusta, she still remained active in the Red Cross Nursing Section, then as a co-director of a National League of Nursing Project.
In 1973, she was transferred to the Clarksburg VA Medical Center as Associate Chief, Nursing Service for Education until her retirement, March 25, 1988 after 15 years service in Clarksburg.
After moving to Clarksburg she became a devout member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. She was active in many community and church projects including diocesan and deanery councils, board and general meetings. She served as President of the Wheeling-Charleston Diocesan Counsel of Catholic Women. She taught a course at Immaculate Conception Parish on helping the elderly live a happy and normal life.
She was a member of I.C. Parish Women, serving as member of sales staff of the gift shop.
Since 1991, she mailed stipends for masses for deceased members to Immaculate Conception and other parishes, so that the people and their families would know that someone cared about them.
She served in many capacities in the Catholic Daughters of America. She was a former Regent of Clarksburg Court 334 of the Catholic Daughters of America. For two terms she was the West Virginia State Regent.
She was a member of the National League for Nursing, recognized by the WV League for Nursing for her dedicated service. She also conducted meetings helping the elderly. She visited nursing homes for years visiting lonely residents of whom she had not been previously acquainted.
In addition, she was member and past president of the Clarksburg Unit of the Association of University Women, President of the state unit of the Parliamentarians, Member of General Federation of Woman’s Club, recording secretary, member of the board, and president for North Central District of GFWC of WV.
Mary Dana remained active at Immaculate Conception Church, Catholic Daughters of America and the General Federation of Woman’s Clubs of Clarksburg.
She always remembered her loved ones on their birthdays and holidays by sending cards to her family and her friends.
Many thanks to her caregivers, Billie Baker, Margaret Buck, Shelley Ballard, her hair dresser, Vera Shinn and neighbor, Evelyn Snider for their loving care.
Online condolences can me made to the family at www.foxandmurrayfuneralhome.com.