Sister Mary Doris, 78

School headmistress

December 04, 2007

Sister Mary Doris Ann Gentry, a former Notre Dame Preparatory School headmistress who co-founded the Caroline Center in East Baltimore, died of a stroke Saturday at Sinai Hospital. She was 78.

Born Doris Ann Gentry in Baltimore and raised in Ednor Gardens, she attended Blessed Sacrament Parochial School and was a 1947 Institute of Notre Dame graduate. She earned a degree at the College of Notre Dame and had master's degrees in mathematics from the Catholic University of America and school administration from Loyola College.

She entered the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1948 and held posts in Providence, R.I., and Puerto Rico before becoming a Notre Dame Preparatory School math teacher. She was the Towson school's headmistress in the mid-1960s.

Sister Doris Ann moved to West Hollywood, Fla., in 1968 and spent nine years as an administrator at Madonna Academy. She returned to Baltimore in 1979 and taught at the Institute of Notre Dame. In 1981, she became program director and administered the Weekend College at the College of Notre Dame.

After a year of sabbatical work in Dover, Mass., Sister Doris Ann became a co-founder of the Caroline Center, an East Baltimore nonprofit organization established by her order. According to her biography, she helped unemployed and underemployed women acquire the discipline, knowledge and skills necessary to find work.

She was business manager and administrator of the job training program. She then volunteered for another five years working with her order's retired sisters.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today at Villa Assumpta, 6401 N. Charles St.

Survivors include two brothers, Robert J. Gentry of Palmyra, Pa., and James O'C. Gentry of Towson; two sisters, Levelle Smith of Towson and Sister Melmarie Gentry, also of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, who lives in Baltimore; and nieces and nephews.

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