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Sister Frances Roberts, musician, teacher

Dec. 14, 1917 – Mar. 26, 2017

Sister Frances Roberts, a music teacher, performer and director, died on March 26 at the Sisters of St. Joseph Residence, Clarence. She was 99.

Sister Frances, born in Buffalo, entered the Sisters of St.Joseph in 1937 and pronounced her final vows in August 1943.

She earned a bachelor's degree in music from Marywood University in Scranton, Penn., and a master's degree in music from Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

Specializing in piano, Sister Frances taught theory, harmony and violin. She also directed the orchestra at Mount St. Joseph Academy for 17 years. Children at Mount St. Joseph Elementary School studied with her for 11 years and many students credited her for their love of, and continuing engagement with, instrumental music.

Sister Frances served as music supervisor for grammar schools staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph from 1945 to 1950.

Multiple schools and choral groups regularly called on her to select and direct their musical programs.

Sister Frances joined the music department of SUNY Fredonia in 1973. Along with private tutoring, she was a cooperating teacher until her retirement in 1996.

She often spent Sunday mornings playing at Mass at one of the correctional facilities in Western New York.

A Memorial Mass will be offered 11 a.m. Saturday in the Sisters of St. Joseph residence, 4975 Strickler Road, Clarence.

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