Sister Jane Frances Gregoire — Rochester

Sister Jane Frances Gregoire, 73, a Franciscan Sister of the Congregation of Our Lady of Lourdes, Rochester, died at McGraw Hospice in Jacksonville, Fla., on Friday, Oct. 18, 2013.

Jane Frances was born to Milton C. and Viola Ann (Telaak) Gregoire on Oct. 31, 1939, in Buffalo, N.Y. In 1957, she joined the Sisters of St. Francis at Stella Niagara, N.Y., where she made her first profession of vows in 1960 and perpetual vows in 1965.

As a member of the Stella Niagara Franciscans, S. Jane Frances taught school in New Monmouth, N.J., New Lexington, Ohio, and Eggertsville, N.Y. She also served as director of the affiliate program for the Sisters of St. Francis in the early 1970s. After nine years of teaching, she moved back to the congregational center where she worked for 20 years in housekeeping and as director of maintenance. It was during this time that S. Jane Frances met S. Margeen Hoffman and several of the Rochester Franciscans who lived and ministered in the eastern area of the United States.

In 1991, Sister Jane Frances journeyed from Buffalo, N.Y., to accompany Sister Margeen Hoffman, the newly named executive director of the Gift of Life Transplant House in Rochester. Sister Jane Frances was hired as the facilities manager, and together, they pioneered a model of care and organization that was emulated across the nation, including the new transplant house in Jacksonville, Fla. Along with her ministry at Gift of Life Transplant House, S. Jane Frances also served as executive housekeeper at Assisi Heights from 1992-1996.

Sister Jane Frances' greatest contributions included establishing excellent order to the interior efficiency of the Gift of Life Transplant House -- from the organization of the kitchens to the overall care of the heating and plumbing. Her talents extended outside as well, to the beautiful flower gardens, manicured lawn and efficient snow removal in the winter.

When S. Margeen died in August 2007, Sister Jane Frances was appointed as the executive director. She and Ed Pompeian, the founder of the Gift of Life House, shared the unique history of making the transition from the original 8-bedroom home on Center Street to the two beautiful structures that now exist on Second Street Southwest. The tour guides at Gift of Life Transplant House often received compliments on the excellent organization of the inner workings of the House, which they immediately credited to Sister Jane Frances' exceptional expertise. On her retirement from the Gift of Life Transplant House in 2011, she moved to Jacksonville, Fla., where she used the gifts she had in helping set up Gabriel House of Care: an extended-stay hospital hospitality house for caregivers and cancer and organ transplant patients receiving medical care away from home.

In 1994, Sister Jane Frances requested to begin the three-year process of transferring from her Congregation of Origin, the Stella Niagara Franciscans, to the Franciscan Congregation in Rochester. She made a final commitment in 1997.

S. Jane Frances is survived by her Franciscan Sisters with whom she shared life for 19 years, by the Stella Niagara Franciscan Sisters who were significant in her life for 37 years, and her brothers: David, James, Dennis, Norbert and Philip, all of New York.

She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers, Raymond and Gerard and a sister, Suzanne.

A funeral liturgy will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 28, in the Chapel of Our Lady of Lourdes, Assisi Heights, Rochester. A prayer service will be held at 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 28, with visitation following. Burial will be in Cheektowaga, N.Y.

Memorials are suggested to the Sisters of St. Francis, Office of Development at Assisi Heights, 1001 14th St. N.W. – Suite 100, Rochester, MN 55901; or Gift of Life Transplant House, 705 Second Street SW, Rochester, MN 55902.