CUMBERLAND, R.I. — Sister Patricia Custy, formerly known as Sister M. Joel, 88, a Sister of Mercy and a former teacher of special education, died July 8, at Mount St. Rita Health Centre, Cumberland, R.I. Born Winifred Patricia Custy in Fall River, she was the daughter of the late Patrick and Winifred (Bagnall) Custy and was also the daughter of Gertrude Bunting Custy. She entered the Sisters of Mercy, Cumberland, on Sept. 8, 1943 and professed her perpetual vows on Aug. 16, 1949.
Sister graduated from Durfee High School, Fall River, and Catholic Teachers College in Providence. She did graduate work at Cardinal Stritch College and Salve Regina University, Newport, R.I.
Sister Patricia’s first ministry was as a first-grade teacher at St. Joseph School, Fall River. She then was assigned to St. Vincent’s Home, also in Fall River; Sister then ministered at Nazareth Hall in Hyannis, and then at St. Joseph, Pine Harbor, R.I. For the next 20 years, she was a special educator at Nazareth Hall, Fall River. Following that assignment, Sister Patricia taught at St. Mary School, New Bedford, and completed her teaching career at St. Anne School, Fall River.
In retirement she resided at Landmark Assisted Living in Fall River and then at Mount St. Rita Health Centre where she has been in residence for the last year. Throughout her life, in school and in her religious community, Sister Patricia was known to be very strong in her convictions and at the same time had a very gentle spirit.
In addition to her religious community, Sister Patricia is survived by her sister, Shirley Sarantakis and husband Peter, a sister-in-law, Catherine Custy, and nieces and nephews, and grandnieces and grandnephews. She was also the sister of the late Kenneth Custy.
A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated on July 11 at Mount St. Rita Health Centre Chapel, Cumberland. Interment was in St. Patrick Cemetery, Fall River.
Donations in her memory may be made to Mount St. Rita Health Centre, 15 Sumner Brown Road, Cumberland, R.I. 02864, or to the Sisters of Mercy, 15 Highland View Road, Cumberland, R.I. 02864.