Sister Marie Barbara Buckley, 1914-2015

SR-Buckley_MarieBarbara_headshotSister Marie Barbara, 100 years old, and a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur for 76 years, died peacefully at Mercy Retirement and Care Center in Oakland on June 25, 2015.

Born in Coalinga, the youngest of six children, Kathleen Buckley was a very independent, self-described “tomboy” who intended to be a cowboy or a pilot when she grew up.

Sr. Marie Barbara attributed her call to religious life to her loving parents. Soon after graduating from Notre Dame High School, San Francisco, she entered the Notre Dame Community. In addition to earning degrees in History and English from San Francisco State, and Catholic University of America, she served as editor of the San Francisco State newspaper and was a member of a college journalism group. She later took advanced courses in mathematics and sociology.

Sister enjoyed teaching all boys at Mission Dolores and all girls at her Alma Mater during her nearly forty years at the elementary, junior high and secondary levels. She also taught at Notre Dame schools in Marysville, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Watsonville, at Blanchet High School in Seattle and at St. Lawrence School in Santa Clara. Sr. Marie Barbara loved teaching and was always generous in working with students who needed extra help.

In retirement, Sr. Marie Barbara assisted in Development work for religious communities and for Immaculate Conception Academy in San Francisco. She also enjoyed enrichment courses in theology and art.

Sr. Marie Barbara’s niece, Terri Brady, said that her aunt “loved her family and loved the Sisters, but most of all, she loved God.” When anyone visited her at Mercy Center the past few months, her mantra was always “God is good.” She would also suggest to Terri that they go out for pizza!

Predeceased by her parents, Michael J. and Barbara Buckley, Sr. Marie Barbara will be lovingly remembered and dearly missed by her Notre Dame community and her nieces, Terri Brady, Mary (Dan) Alves and Kathleen DaVilla; her nephews, Father Thomas Buckley SJ, Father Michael Buckley SJ, Phil Brady, Tom (Galynn) Brady, Brother Chris Brady FSC; many devoted grand-nieces and nephews, and Father Anthony McGuire, her 8th grade student at Mission Dolores.

A Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 on Friday, July 17, 2015, Notre Dame Province Center in Belmont. Interment at 2:30, Santa Clara Mission Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made in Sister’s honor to Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, 1520 Ralston Avenue, Belmont, CA 94002 or online.


  1. I had Sr. Marie Barbara for History in Room 3 as a sophmore at NDSF. She used to wear a striped jacket over her habit, (a whistle around her neck if I recall right), and had quite a sense of humour. I often wondered if she was a sports referee at a previous school. Sister always had a great smile and I will miss her enthusiasm for teaching. May the Lord Bless you and keep you Sr. Marie Barbara. Geri (Gilbert) DeGroote, NDSF, Class of 1973.

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