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Obituary for Sister Rosalie Bertell Ph.D.

June 24th, 2012

Sr. Rosalie Bertell, GNSH, Ph. D, an internationally recognized environmental epidemiologist, cancer researcher and public health advocate, died June 14, 2012, at age 83 in Saint Mary Medical Center, Langhorne, PA, in the 54th year of her religious life.

Dr. Bertell entered the field of cancer research at Roswell Park Memorial Institute, Buffalo in the 1970s. What started there grew into a lifetime devoted to research, writing, public speaking andadvocacy work on the effects of low-level radiation on human health.

Prior to founding the International Institute of Concern for Public Health in Toronto, Canada in 1984, she was an Energy/Public Health specialist at the Jesuit Centre for Social Faith and Justice in Toronto for four years. Sister traveled the globe, researching and advising ways of dealing with the chemical and nuclear hazards which endanger the environment and erode the health of people worldwide until shortly before her death.

Sister Rosalie authored two books, No Immediate Danger (1985) and Planet Earth: The Latest Weapon of War (2000) ) and more than a hundred articles. She was named to the Global 500 Rollof Honour 1993 (United Nations Environment Programme), and was the recipient of the Right Livelihood Award, December, 1986.

Among other accolades, Sister Rosalie received numerous honorary doctorates in recognition of her scholarly and professional work and her efforts as a social justice advocate.

Born and educated in Buffalo, New York, she earned her BA in Math/Physics/Education from D’Youville College. She was in the Buffalo Carmelite Community 1951-1956, leaving for health reasons. Before entering the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart in 1958, she served on the faculty of Catholic University, Washington, DC for a year.

From Catholic University, she received a Masters in Mathematics/Philosophy and a Doctorate in Mathematics/Biology/ Biometrics.

Sister Rosalie was in administration and on the faculty of Sacred Heart Junior College in Yardley, PA for ten years. She taught at D’Youville Academy in Chamblee, GA and was an Associate Professor of Mathematics for four years at D’Youville College.

In addition to her religious family, Sister Rosalie is survived by nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart, 1750 Quarry Rd., Yardley, PA 19067-3998.

Wake Service was at 7 PM on Sunday, June 17 and the funeral Mass was at 10 AM on Monday, June 18 in Sacred Heart Chapel at the Grey Nuns’ Motherhouse in Yardley, PA.

Burial was in Resurrection Cemetery in Bensalem, PA. Funeral arrangements by Beck Givnish

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