May 20, 1931-January 4, 2016
A beloved teacher of philosophy, theology and ethics, Sister Rosaleen Trainor, CSPH, died on January 4th, 2016 in Bellevue, Washington. A faculty member at Seattle University from 1965 until her retirement in 2002, Sister Rosaleen was honored as a master teacher, was the Louis Gaffney Professor of Arts and Science and held a McGordrick Fellowship at Seattle University “in Recognition of her outstanding service as a teacher, a counselor and a model for her students.”
Born to Nora and George Trainor on May 20, 1931 in Nelson, British Columbia, Jennie Mary Trainor encountered the Sisters of St.Joseph of Peace at St. Joseph School in Nelson and entered the community in 1955 as Sister Rosaleen. She taught briefly in elementary school in Seattle and Wenatchee and completed a B. Ed. Degree at Seattle University before entering graduate school at St. John’s University, New York where she earned her M.A. and Ph.D.degrees.
As a S.U. faculty member, Sister Rosaleen was the first woman to chair the Philosophy Department and taught generations of students. In her “Last Lecture,” given at Seattle University in 2001, she recalled a time when two students came to her to resolve a heated discussion they were having on a philosophical text. “Rather than tell them the truth,” she said, “I showed my pleasure in their working the issue and I proceeded to dialogue with them further.” With such great respect for her students and the intellectual process, she was an outstanding and formative professor, always searching to intensify her own and her students’ “desire for truth, love and justice.” She received faculty and teaching awards at Seattle University in 1982, 1987, 1992, 1995, 2000 and 2002.
From 1979 to 2000, as a member of the Board of Directors of Peace Health, the health care system founded by the Sisters of St.Joseph of Peace, Sister Rosaleen began Peace Health’s ethics ministry and served on the Executive Committee, Corporate Integrity Committee and Corporate Ethics Committee; she also served on the Board of Director for Peace heath’s Oregon Region from 2003 to 2013. In both her teaching and board service she focused on the ethical issues and dilemmas of health care, bringing great clarity to complex problems of life and death.
After retiring from Seattle University, Sister Rosaleen lived and volunteered in Indio, California with her dear friend Maggie O’Miller; in 2015 she moved to the Sister’s retirement community at St. Marry-on-the-Lake, Belleviue. She is survived by her sister, Aileen Trainor, CSPH,brother George and sister-in-law Evelyn Trainor of Nelson, BC, many nieces and nephews, and many friends. Her parents, brother Monsignor Leslie Trainor and sister Kay McGauley
preceded her death.