Eileen Patricia Noone Danis
First Lieutenant, United States Air Force
Eileen Patricia Noone Danis, 77, a former nurse who did volunteer work at the D.C. jail's central detention facility in Southeast, died July 28, 2002, at Inova Fairfax Hospital, Virginia, of complications from abdominal surgery that day.
Mrs. Danis, who became a certified spiritual adviser through the National Association of Catholic Chaplains, was "Sister Eileen" to the prisoners, with whom she conducted prayer and Bible study groups.
She was 5-foot-7 and trim with chin-length brown hair and was known to work quietly and unassumingly with prison officials and prisoners. She saw herself as an advocate for the prisoners and helped them locate estranged family members.
Her interest in prisoners sprouted from a lifelong desire to help people and animals in need, family members said. She often took injured birds to the animal hospital and would bring home tracheotomy patients to Thanksgiving dinner when she worked in the ear, nose and throat unit of a hospital in Omaha.
She was a native of Brooklyn, New York, where her father was a Navy Yard machinist and her mother a registered nurse. She was a 1950 graduate of the Cornell University-New York Hospital School of Nursing and spent two years there as a registered nurse. Years later, she received a master's degree in counseling and human services from Boston University's overseas program in Germany.
She served in the Air Force as a flight nurse from 1952 to 1954, leaving at the rank of First Lieutenant to marry an Air Force officer and raise a family.
She accompanied her husband on his assignments, including Nebraska and Europe, until settling in the Washington area in 1980. She had returned to her nursing career in the late 1960s.
She completed her course work but did not graduate from Catholic University in an effort to become a certified clinical nurse specialist in adult psychiatric and mental health care. She did a psychological residency at St. Elizabeths Hospital and also became interested in a lay movement within prison ministries.
She ended her work at the D.C. jail to care for her husband, who had recovered from a brain tumor but had congestive heart failure. Her husband, retired Air Force Colonel Lionel A. Danis, died in 2001.
She lived in Herndon and was a member of St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Reston.
Survivors include seven children, Kathryn Condello
of McLean, Michael Danis of Alexandria, Patrick Danis of Flower Mound,
Tex., Army Staff Sgt. Brian Danis of Fayetteville, N.C., and Moira Danis,
Robert Danis and Mark Danis, all of New York; and six grandchildren.
On July 28, 2002, EILEEN P. DANIS. Beloved
wife of the late Lionel A. Danis; loving mother of Kathryn Condello, Michael,
Moira, Patrick, Robert, Brian and Mark Danis; cherished grandmother of
Christopher Buie, Alexander and Dominic Condello, Shaun, Aaron and Kaitlin
Danis. Funeral services Tuesday, August 27, 12:45 p.m. at Fort Myer Chapel.
Interment With Military Honors, Arlington National Cemetery.