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Sister Mary Rebecca Fidler

January 2, 1932 - July 11, 2023

Burial Date July 14, 2023

Family and friends may be received at the Amos Carvelli Funeral Home, 201 Edison Street, Nutter Fort, on Thursday from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. with a Rosary being recited at 7:30 p.m. to conclude the visitation and where Catholic Burial Rites will be extended on Friday, July 14, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. with Father Kumar Reddimasu as Celebrant and her nephew Dr. Kester Gary Barnette as a special speaker. Interment will follow in the Sardis Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made in Sister Fidler’s memory to the Susan Dew Hoff Memorial Clinic, 925 Liberty Street, West Milford, WV, 26451.

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Sister Mary Rebecca “Barbara” Fidler, RMS Ph.D., 91, of West Milford, WV, was called home to be with the Lord in the early morning Tuesday, July 11, 2023, at Maplewood Health Care, with family surrounding her.

She was born in Salem, WV, on January 2, 1932, the daughter of the late Kester and Audra Marcella Robey Fidler.

She is survived by her brother, Joseph Fidler and his wife Nancy of Buffalo Lake; sister, Rebecca Barnette of Buffalo Lake; several nieces and nephews; as well as her fur babies, cats Gabbey and Straley.

In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her brother, John Fidler and brother-in-law, Coach Gary Barnette.

Sister Barbara vowed and dedicated her life to God and was a member of the religious vocation of the Sisters of Mercy.

She had numerous achievements that exemplified her dedication to helping others and making the world a better place.

Sister of Mercy Mary Rebecca Fidler was the founder of the Susan Dew Hoff Memorial Clinic in West Milford and received her Bachelor of Science in medical technology and biology from Salem College in 1954 and her certification as a medical technologist from St. Mary Hospital School of Technology in 1956.

She then worked at the University of Michigan Hospital and St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich. It was at St. Joseph’s that she came into contact with the Sisters of Mercy and discerned a religious vocation. She entered the Sisters of Mercy of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Sept. 11, 1960, and made her temporary profession June 21, 1963, following the completion of her novitiate. She made her final profession June 21, 1966. Sister Fidler returned to her apostolate in the medical profession, assigned as an instructor in basic sciences at Mercy Hospital Nursing School in Cedar Rapids from 1964-1968. From there, she pursued, simultaneously, her degree as a medical doctor and her Ph.D. in human anatomy, both degrees being bestowed upon her by the University of Iowa College of Medicine in lowa City, Iowa, in 1971. She then taught anatomy, physiology, and nursing first in Dubuque, Iowa, and then, returning to her native state, at Salem University in 1978.
Sister Fidler developed a passion for research especially in the areas of cancer, dermatology and cranio-facial anatomy related to orthodontics. She published extensively in these areas in peer-reviewed journals and garnered awards and peer recognition for her work. In the early 1990s, she became a consultant and volunteer research technologist for the Cancer Biologics of America Laboratories and director of the Cancer Center at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and in 1992 became Senior technologist of hematology at Roche Biomedical Laboratories in Fairmont. In 1995, she moved to West Milford, where she recognized that while basic medical care was available, dental care was not. After conducting a study of the matter and listening to residents, Sister Fidler founded the Susan Dew Hoff Memorial Clinic, which has a focus on dentistry. The clinic provides medical assessments, does basic laboratory testing, offers dental care, and provides transportation to doctors’ offices.

Sister Fidler was the recipient of the 2010 Papal Honors Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice Cross, awarded by Pope Benedict; 2003 Mountaineer Spirit Award presented by the General Federated Women’s Club of WV; 2003 Unsung Hero Award presented by the WV Woman’s Commission; 2002 Distinguished WV Award presented by Governor Bob Wise; 2002 WV Honorary Italian Woman of the Year; 2002 Distinguished WV Humanitarian Award presented by Joe Manchin III; 2001 Clarksburg Exponent Telegram top ten Citizen of the Year; 1998 Top 10 Outstanding Medical Technologists in the Nation; 1990 Outstanding Teacher Award in Appalachia in Natural Sciences; as well as several others.

She devoted her life to serving others and exemplified that “what we do makes a difference”. She made a difference with her life.

Among her numerous achievements she was a talented basketball player and participated in the women’s semi-pro league. She was an avid WVU sports fan and loved to fish.

The impact she made during her years on earth will carry her spirit and she will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved her.

The family of Sister Barbara would like to extend their gratitude to her nieces, Marcie Boulden and Georgianna Fidler Cupp, as well as her neighbor Brenda Martin, and special friend Charlie Bramble.

Family and friends may be received at the Amos Carvelli Funeral Home, 201 Edison Street, Nutter Fort, on Thursday from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. with a Rosary being recited at 7:30 p.m. to conclude the visitation and where Catholic Burial Rites will be extended on Friday, July 14, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. with Father Kumar Reddimasu as Celebrant and her nephew Dr. Kester Gary Barnette as a special speaker.

Interment will follow in the Sardis Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made in Sister Fidler’s memory to the Susan Dew Hoff Memorial Clinic, 925 Liberty Street, West Milford, WV, 26451.

Expressions of sympathy may be extended to the family at www.amoscarvelli.com A service of Amos Carvelli Funeral Home

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