ALBANY – Mary Rose Burke Havern, 91, of Slingerlands, died Saturday, September 12, 2009 at Albany Memorial Hospital surrounded by her family. Mrs. Havern was born in Troy, the daughter of Patrick and Rose Raleigh Burke. She was a graduate of Catholic Central High School in Troy and was awarded a full academic scholarship to the College of St. Rose. She went on to earn four master’s degrees in elementary education, guidance, psychology and school administration, and was a state-certified education psychologist. During World War II she worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a psychometrist evaluating civilians for jobs left vacant by men serving in World War II. She also was employed for many years by the Albany City School District as an elementary school teacher, an evaluator of special needs children, and as Director of Research and Psychology Services. Inspired by her late daughter Kathleen’s autism, she established a scholarship at the College of St. Rose for students studying Special Education, and dedicated herself to improving the lives of people with disabilities. She was a volunteer with and board member of Rehabilitation Support Services of Albany, and was instrumental in bringing some of the first special needs housing to the Capital District. In June of 2000, she was given the Distinguished Alumni Award by the College of St. Rose, where she was also an active member of the college alumni association, and in 2006 the college awarded her the Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2003, she was also given the Senior Lifetime Achievement Award by the Capital District Senior Issues Forum, and she was active on the board of the STARS Association (promoting contact between seniors and students with special needs) until her mid-80’s. She also was a communicant and member of the Rosary Society of Holy Cross Church, and a member of the City Club of Albany, and the Delta Kappa Gamma Society.
Mrs. Havern was predeceased by her husband John D. Havern, and her daughter Kathleen Frances Havern. She is survived by her children Patricia Havern Windelspecht (Robert) of Plymouth, MA, Michael Havern (Gwen) of Palo Alto, CA , and Mary Rose McCaughey (Kim) of McKownville; her brothers John Burke (Joan) of Rochester and Joseph Burke (Mary Jane) of Troy; her grandchildren Katie Windelspecht McLaughlin (Sean), Patrick Havern, Sarah Cabrera (Aaron), Abigail Havern, Melissa and Bridget McCaughey; her great grandchildren Bryce, Charlie and Jack McLaughlin, and Diego Cabrera; and by many nieces, nephews and beloved friends. She was also predeceased by her brothers James and William Burke, and her sister Ann O’Neill.
A gathering to remember and celebrate Mary’s life will be held Wednesday morning at 10:30 in St. Vincent DePaul Church, Madison Ave. & Partridge St., Albany, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00. Relatives and friends are invited and may call at the Hans Funeral Home, 1088 Western Ave., Albany, today from 4-7 p.m. Interment will be in St. Agnes Cemetery, Cohoes. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Kathleen Havern Memorial Scholarship, c/o The College of Saint Rose, 432 Western Ave., Albany, NY 12203 or online at www.strose.edu . To leave a message of condolence for the family, view or print a prayer card, or obtain directions to the funeral home, please visit www.HansFuneralHome.com.