In Memoriam


Lila Watt headshot

(1929-2019)

Elmhurst, Illinois, was the birthplace of Lila Watt, the only daughter of Melvin and Charlotte (Daley) Watt, and the fact of where she was born led to an incident which was passed down as part of family lore.

Melvin and Charlotte were both of Scottish and Irish descent – with some German and Dutch on Melvin’s side as well – with Melvin mostly Scottish and Charlotte mostly Irish (and very proud of that fact). And as the story goes, one evening when Lila was very young she began crying at the dinner table and when her parents asked what was wrong, her reply was that she had heard them say that foreigners would be sent out of the country. “I figured that applied to me because I was born in the country of Elmhurst, Illinois, not Chicago,” she said in her life story.

Very little is known about Sister Lila’s parents other than their heritage, but according to Sister Lila, the Watt family, which also included her older brother Melvin and her two younger brothers Harry and Neil, was a happy one. Her father, a convert to Catholicism whom Sister Lila remembered kneeling every night to recite the Rosary, liked to tell jokes, was never angry, and never spoke negatively of anyone, while Charlotte was a wonderful mother who enjoying being at home to care for the family.

Read more about Sister Lila (PDF)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. 

 

 

 

Vigil for Sister Lila (Dominic Marie):


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Funeral for Sister Lila (Dominic Marie):


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Margaret Ann Roggenbuck, OP

(1935-2019)

A 485-acre farm near Harbor Beach, in Huron County, Michigan (the county at the very tip of Michigan’s “Thumb”), was home for the Roggenbuck family: Henry and Magdalene (Holdwick) and their large family, of whom Margaret Ann was the sixth child and the second daughter.

The Roggenbucks had deep roots in Huron County; Henry’s parents arrived there from Germany in the 1800s and settled on a farm, while Magdalene’s parents were also area farmers. The two met as children in catechism class at Harbor Beach’s St. Anthony Church, the same church where they were married in 1927.

Both Henry and Magdalene left the area as young adults, Henry to attend Detroit Business University and Magdalene to study education at what was then known as Ferris Institute in Big Rapids, Michigan. But Henry loved the land too much to stay away and returned to Harbor Beach to work the family farm, and Magdalene came back to the area to spend six years as a country-school teacher before the two married.

In one of her St. Catherine letters, Sister Margaret Ann remembered her father as a man with a gentle spirit and a love for life, someone who saw goodness in everyone. “He perceived and experienced life as gift and he especially cherished each of his children as a special gift,” she wrote.

Read more about Sister Margaret Ann (PDF)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. 

 


Elisa Joan Doherty, Sister Michael Eilese

(1932-2019)

From the Gospel of Matthew we listened to the words, “When Jesus saw the crowds he went up on the mountainside and he sat down. His disciples gathered around him and he began to teach them.” The Beatitudes are not only a code of living. They are about Jesus. The teaching of the Beatitudes is to become like Jesus – to be that compassionate, empathetic, joy-filled, in solidarity with the vulnerable and to be selfless.

From the Gospel of Elisa’s life, many experienced Jesus.

These words began Sister Patricia Harvat’s homily at the funeral Mass for Sister Elisa Joan Doherty, a woman who spent forty-five years in ministry to the people of Puerto Rico, much of it living and working directly among the poor.

Joan Marjorie Doherty, who in 1971 legally added Elisa to her name, was born on October 19, 1932, in Detroit to Frank and Melita (Dederich) Doherty. Frank was a model-building foreman at General Motors while Melita was in charge of the home and the couple’s four children, of whom Elisa was the youngest daughter, preceded by Eleanor and Eileen. Later, Richard came into the family.

Joan’s elementary-school years were spent at St. Catherine School and then Our Lady of Good Counsel School in Detroit, where the IHM Sisters from Monroe were her teachers. Her musical talents began being nurtured at a very early age; she began taking piano lessons and later learned the organ. Her father bought a pump organ so she could practice at home and not have to stay after school to practice in the church. Within six months, she was playing the organ for the daily 6:30 a.m. Mass, with her sister Eileen singing.

Read more about Sister Elisa (pdf)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.

 


Ann Romayne Fallon Mary Patricia Joan Fallon

(1928-2019)

“Looking back over these fifty-two years of life, I am overwhelmed and awed by the presence of the Lord in every moment, at every turn of the road.”

This was the opening sentence of Sister Ann Romayne Fallon’s St. Catherine letter of September 19, 1980. Her second such letter, on October 1, 1980, expanded on that thought: “The years have brought many experiences — some pleasant and others difficult. All have been a means of growth for me, and I feel my friendship with the Lord has been strengthened through each new opportunity to share in the ministry of His Church.”

Mary Patricia Joan Fallon, who went simply by Joan until entering religious life, was born on August 29, 1928, in Detroit to Joseph and Anne (Gough) Fallon. Both Joseph and Anne were born in Ontario, Canada, he in Norwood and she in Belleville, and met in Detroit. Anne’s family had moved there in the 1920s, and when Joseph, who was a tool and die maker, came to the city looking for work, he lived with a friend who introduced him to Anne.

There was a ten-year difference in their ages, but that “was no obstacle to a wonderful marriage,” Sister Ann Romayne wrote. The couple went on to have five children, Joan being the oldest. Margaret followed five years later; Sister Ann Romayne said in her autobiography that Margaret “always claimed that her parents needed five years to muster up the courage to have another child.” After that came Kathleen, then Gerald, and nine years later Virginia Marie, who died of pneumonia in infancy.

Read more about Sister Ann (pdf)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. 

 

 

Leave your comments and remembrances (if you don't see the comment box below, click on the "Read More" link).


Cemetery of the Adrian Dominican Sisters

Our Adrian Dominican cemetery with its circular headstones is a beautiful place of rest for women who gave their lives in service to God — and a peaceful place for contemplation and remembrance. 


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