Sister Dolores Patterson, age 88, formerly Sister Mary Melanie, died peacefully on February 5, 2019 at McAuley Hall Health Care Center in Watchung, New Jersey. The daughter of Albert and Catherine Patterson, she was born in Atco, New Jersey. Sister Dolores attended the local public school until high school. She traveled daily to Camden to attend Camden Catholic High School. There Sister Dolores met the Sisters of Mercy who influenced her decision to answer a call to the religious life after graduation. She chose the name Sister Mary Melanie and was soon ready to begin at her teaching ministry. With her degree in elementary education from Georgian Court College (now University), she taught in parish schools in the Trenton, Metuchen Camden dioceses: St. Francis, Metuchen; St. John, Lambertville; St. Paul, Princeton; St. Joseph, Keyport and St. Mary, Bordentown until 1981. Sister Dolores developed a special interest in children with Downs Syndrome and other learning disabilities. She had an opportunity to teach in a special education program at St. Peter Celestine School in Cherry Hill, New Jersey for ten years. She then joined the special education staff at St. Joseph Pro-Cathedral School in East Camden. In addition to her contributions to these developing programs, she worked tirelessly with the Knights of Columbus and other organizations to raise funds for what she called God's special children.
Sister Dolores returned to Camden Catholic as a member of the special education staff . She provided opportunities for students whose education ended after high school graduation. She was a teacher, advocate and friend to her students and their parents.
In 2008, Dolores retired from active ministry and moved to Gabriel Hall at Mount St. Mary in Watchung, NJ. She is survived by several nieces and nephews and many Sisters of Mercy
Visitation will take place at McAuley Hall Health Care Center, 1633 US Highway 22 West, Watchung, NJ on Saturday, February 9, 2019
Wake: 9:00: 10:30 Welcome Home Service: 10:00 Mass of Christian Burial: 10:30 Burial: Holy Redeemer Cemetery, South Plainfield, New Jersey.
Memorial donations may be made to Sisters of Mercy Mid-Atlantic Community, 1645 US Highway 22 West, Watchung, NJ 07069, in memory of Sister Dolores.