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Founding administrator of Holy Spirit Hospital dies

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Sister Ursula Frei died July 4, according to Holy Spirit Hospital.
Sister Ursula Frei died July 4, according to Holy Spirit Hospital. - (Photo / )

Sister Ursula Frei, founding administrator of Holy Spirit Hospital, died July 4, the hospital announced today.

According to a news release, Frei served as the Camp Hill-based nonprofit's first administrator/president and CEO from 1960 to 1990. Immediately following her retirement, she was elected a general councilor to represent the Sisters of Christian Charity, Eastern Province, and served in Rome for six years as vicar general of the worldwide Sisters of Christian Charity.

The Sisters of Christian Charity sponsor HSH, which is a Catholic hospital. HSH recently announced plans to become an affiliate of Danville-based Geisinger Health System; Geisinger is not a Catholic institution, but Sister Romaine Niemeyer, president and CEO of Holy Spirit Health System, said Catholic authorities have approved the plan, which is designed to let HSH retain its distinctive faith-based identity.

“Sister Ursula had a very sharp mind and a wonderful heart,” said Niemeyer. “She was able to successfully combine aspects of spirituality and business acumen. She wanted to build a strong institution and was able to gather the best from the local community to serve as board members, physicians, and staff so Holy Spirit Hospital could offer the best services possible. Sister Ursula truly cared about people. Her love for Holy Spirit continued until her death. We were blessed to have her as our leader.”

A viewing is set for 2 p.m. July 8, at the Holy Family Convent, 1 Montour St., Danville. The funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. July 9, at the same location.

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