Sister Frances Irene Fair of the Dominican Sisters of Hope, died on April 1, 2024 in Saint Catherine of Siena Healthcare facility in Caldwell, New Jersey. She was 95 years of age.

 The daughter of the late Joseph and Emma Toone Fair, she was born July 8,1928 in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Sister entered the novitiate of the Dominican Sisters of Newburgh, New York, on September 8,1945, made First Profession June 25,1947, and Final Profession August 26,1950. Sister Frances Irene earned a BS in Elementary Education from Villanova University and her MA in Special Education from Seton Hall University and did post graduate work at Fairfield University.

Sister served in educational ministries in Camden NJ (1947 to 1953), Saint Paul’s school in Jersey City NJ (1953 to 1954), Saint Joseph Elementary School in Toms River NJ (1954 to 1965). She was principal and teacher at Cathedral Elementary School in Raleigh NC (1965 to1967), principal and teacher at Immaculata School in Raleigh NC (1967 to 1969) and Saints John and Paul school in Larchmont NY (1969 to 1970). From 1970 to 1992 she was a teacher for children with learning disabilities and director of the special education program at the Bishop Dunn School in Newburgh, NY. In the 1980’s Sister Francis Irene received the Teacher of the Year Award for Special Education from the NCEA. When sister retired from classroom teaching, she became director of development at Bishop Dunn. She also taught religion classes at St. Patrick’s in Newburgh, NY on Saturday mornings.

Sister Frances was a gentle yet constant advocate for the special education student. Under her mentorship the students received assistance in their self-contained classrooms and were integrated into regular classroom courses with the assistance of an aide. Children thrived in the program.

The Times Herald columnist Bo Gil wrote of Sister Frances that she was “a sparkling leader of students with an amazing ability to communicate, discipline and leave her charges with smiling faces.” In the same article Dr. Irene Nunnari of Mount Saint Mary College was quoted as saying “She is as constant as the North Star in following her vows and in guiding us with her missionary zeal. She weaves hope, faith, love, and joy into the lives of her students and all she meets.”

In 2013, the Bishop Dunn community dedicated the new building wing she had helped fund in her honor. She had spent more than 40 years serving that community. 

Sister is predeceased by her parents and brother Howard Fair. She is survived by a nephew and nieces and her Dominican Sisters.

Sister Frances Irene’s funeral will take place on Friday April 12, 2024, in the Chapel of the Most Holy Rosary at the Dominican Center, Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, New York. The viewing will be in the chapel beginning at 9:15am. The Wake Service will follow at 10:15am. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Sister’s burial will follow immediately after the liturgy in the Dominican Sisters’ Cemetery at Mount Saint Mary in Newburgh, NY. 

Arrangements are under the direction of Brooks Funeral Home, Gidney Avenue, Newburgh, NY.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Sister Frances’ name can be made to the Development Office of the Dominican Sisters of Hope, 299 North Highland Avenue, Ossining, NY 10562 or to the Bishop Dunn Memorial School, 50 Gidney Avenue, Newburgh, NY 12550