WEST HARTFORD – Sister of Mercy Claire Markham, a daughter of James J. and Agnes V. (Manning) Markham, died on Dec. 6, 2013, at St. Mary Home. She was born in New Haven in 1919, and entered the Sisters of Mercy in 1940. From 1940-49, she taught at St. Patrick School in Waterbury.
After completing her doctorate in chemistry at The Catholic University of America in 1952, she returned to her alma mater, St. Joseph College, as a member of the faculty. She held various positions at the college, including professor of chemistry, dean of the graduate school and director of institutional research, receiving a doctor of humane letters honorary degree in 1989 from the college. She retired as professor emerita in 2000.
Sister Claire also served as undersecretary, State Department of Energy, in the Office of Policy and Management in 1977 and was visiting professor at the Norwegian Institute of Technology in Trondheim, Norway, and the University of California, Berkeley, in 1967-68. She was the author of numerous research articles and research projects. Among her awards are the Woman of the Year Award, West Hartford Business and Professional Women, in 1961; and a citation, along with Eleanor Roosevelt, from the Service Bureau of Women in 1962.
She was predeceased by her brothers James, Charles and Richard, and her sister, Jean. Sister Claire is survived by her sister, Elizabeth M. Markham of West Hartford; two sisters-in-law, Rosemary Markham, of Orange, and Dorothy Markham, of Bloomfield, N.Y.; several nieces and nephews and their families; and her sisters in the Mercy Community.
A funeral Mass of Christian Burial was held Dec. 12 in the Connor Chapel of Our Lady, located on the campus of the University of St. Joseph. Burial was in St. Mary Cemetery in West Hartford.