Holy Names Sister Annette (born Eleanor) Covatta died gently and peacefully Jan. 13.

Sister Annette was born Aug. 30, 1928, to Annette Graziade Covatta and Nicholas Covatta in Troy, New York. Since she showed extraordinary musical talent, her parents sent her to the Academy of the Holy Names in Albany, New York, to begin intensive piano lessons. She continued her education there until her graduation from high school in 1946.

After graduation, Sister Annette entered the Sisters of the Holy Names. Her ministry in her younger years was in the music departments of SNJM Academies in Albany, and Tampa, Florida. She taught piano, directed glee clubs, and produced musical performances involving students of all grade levels. She produced and directed an album, “To love is to listen” by a group of young Holy Names sisters and gave numerous concerts. She earned her doctorate in musical arts in 1965 from Boston University.

In the 1960s, she oversaw the creation of the performing arts center on the Albany campus of the Academy of the Holy Names. For many years, this arts center provided a contemporary space for musical, dramatic, historical and cultural performances.

In the 1970s, Sister Annette served as leader of the New York province, which extended from Albany to Key West, Florida. Upon completion of that role, she was appointed by Governor Mario Cuomo for a three-year position on the New York State Council on the Arts. She moved to New York City and lived there for a decade. In those years, she integrated musical performance with human and spiritual development.

She excelled in the leadership of the “intensive journal process” of Ira Progoff. She accepted many national and international invitations to lead groups in that process. She also designed a holistic program called Fulcrum, a collection of centering workshops and retreats.

In the early 2000s Sister Annette, at the invitation of friends, moved to Colorado to share intentional community with a number of lay people, families and members of religious communities.

In 2009 after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, she chose to move to Mary’s Woods in Lake Oswego. During her 10 years in Oregon, Sister Annette made many friends and initially continued to give short concerts. Even as her memory faded she continued to be a vibrant presence with her engaging smile, hearty laugh, intense gaze and engaging nonverbal communication with staff and her resident companions.

Sister Annette is survived by her sister, Mary Beth DiToro of New Hampshire. Remembrances may be made to the Sisters of the Holy Names, P.O. Box 398, Marylhurst, OR 97036 or online at snjmusontario.org/donate.