In Memoriam


(1929-2018)

Doris Marie Beach was born on February 2, 1920, to Samuel and Freda Beach. She and her three brothers grew up on a farm in southwestern Michigan. She attended a one-room schoolhouse and then a small high school in Edwardsburg, Michigan, graduating with a class of 17.

Doris graduated from the Henry Ford Hospital School of Nursing in 1951. She then had a long career as a staff nurse, head nurse, Assistant Director of Nursing, and Medical-Surgical Psychiatric Supervisor.  

For many years, Doris shared a home with a nurse friend, who died in 1981. Sister Susan Parker, OP, came to live with Doris as they were both working at the same hospital and had become friends. 

Doris cared for both of her parents as they aged and faced illness and death. One of her brothers died in a motorcycle accident at age 17, and Doris’ two other brothers married and had children. She was a most beloved aunt.

Doris had several interests, including reading, gardening, crossword puzzles, and crafts.

Mentored by Sister Marilyn Foster, OP, Doris joined Associate Life on October 20, 2001. Her introduction to the Congregation came through Sister Susan and through a seminar on death and dying, during which she observed the warmth and love that the Sisters showed toward one another and the people they served.  

Doris enjoyed the prayer and the gatherings of her Mission Group and Chapter. As an Associate, she hoped to enrich her life “and ultimately become closer to God.” She was also interested in peace and justice issues and was eager to learn about various forms of service. In renewing her commitment to Associate Life, Doris wrote, “I want to be a part of who the Sisters are and what they stand for.”

After retirement, Doris lived six months of the year in Redford, Michigan, and six months in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

She died of respiratory failure after surgery on January 3, 2018, with her niece and Sister Susan by her side.

 

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

 

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(1938-2017)

Sylvia Norfleet was born on November 3, 1938, in St. Louis, Missouri. Her great aunt was Catholic, which led Sylvia to join the Catholic Church when she was 11 years old. She attended St. Matthew Lutheran School in St. Louis and graduated in 1957 from St. Frances Academy in Baltimore, Maryland, which was run by the Oblate Sisters of Providence. In time, Sylvia married David English and moved to Detroit.

Sylvia met Sisters Rosemarie Kieffer, OP, and Nancy Jurecki, OP, at her parish, Our Lady Gate of Heaven. She also attended the Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit, where she met Sister Anneliese Sinnott, OP, one of the faculty members.

Sylvia was always interested in outreach to the elderly and became volunteer coordinator of “Joyfield Caregivers.” This group was an elder service program that used the resources of church and community to help people maintain independent living, all at no cost to the participants.

From working with the Adrian Dominican Sisters, Sylvia began to take an interest in Associate Life. Sylvia was mentored by Sister Bridget Maier, OP, and joined Associate Life on October 7, 2000. She was a member of the Kaleidoscope Mission Group in the Great Lakes Chapter.

“I have an overwhelming desire to get closer to Jesus, to do His will,” Sylvia wrote in explanation for her desire to become an Associate. “I continually observe, listen to, and discuss all aspects of daily life. I find there is a truth and uplifting quality about these Sisters.” She also believed that she had the same vision as the Adrian Dominican Sisters. “We are a Gospel centered community, committed to learning and giving, through service,” she wrote.

“I am constantly in touch with my Mission Group,” Sylvia wrote a few years ago. “We dialogue. I believe we never stop learning. My challenge is physical. I have slowed down a lot in the past few years. Despite my health and poverty, God has blessed me more than ever.”

Sylvia suffered with declining health – mostly small strokes through the remaining years of her life. Her Mission Group was her lifeline.

Sylvia had surgery in mid-December and was unable to recover. She died on December 27, 2017. She was preceded in death by her son Craig English and one grandson, Davonne William Shaw. Surviving are her children Debra English Butler; David English, Jr.; and Leslie English.

The wake for Sylvia will be held from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, January 11, 2018, at O.H. Pye III Funeral Home, 17600 Plymouth Road, Detroit. The Funeral will be at 11:00 a.m. Friday, January 12, 2018 at Sacred Heart Church, 1000 Elliott Street, Detroit. The burial will follow at Detroit Memorial Park West in Redford Township, Michigan.

 

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(1944-2017)

Patricia Jean Seckel was born December 7, 1944 in Detroit, the middle child of seven.  Her parents, Robert and Ruth LaBell Seckel, lived in Detroit their entire lives. Both of her parents worked hard to provide for their family. 

Patty attended Our Lady Queen of Peace School and Madison High School, graduating in 1964. She felt a calling to work in the healthcare field. She worked for more than 25 years in nursing homes and with mentally and physically challenged children and adults.  

After her father died very suddenly in 1981, Patty lived with her mother in Clinton Township, Michigan. She cared for her mother and worked full time in nursing homes, urgent care facilities, and doctor’s offices. After taking classes for years, Patty graduated from the Carnegie Institute in 1988, earning a certificate as a medical assistant.

Read more about Patty (pdf) 

make a memorial gift

Memorial 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).


(1936-2016)

Helen Michels was one of 14 children born to Anton and Lucille (Owens) Michels. She was born in 1936 in Palm Bay, Florida, but moved around Florida as her father was a carpenter involved in various building projects. The family settled in Sanford, Florida, where many of her siblings remained.

Helen was educated in public schools, and was given a strong foundation of faith from her parents, who emphasized consideration and sacrifice. Helen attended Barry College (University), Miami, Florida, where she says she “was overcome by the joy and exuberance of the Adrian Dominicans.”

In June 1955, Helen entered the Congregation. Known then as Sister Paul Anton, she was missioned in Puerto Rico to teach at the Colegio San Antonio. Helen was also drawn to the public school students who had no one to minister to them. Her attention was divided between the Catholic school and the public school students, and it was challenging.  

Helen worked on a steering committee for a drug treatment program and began working there full-time in spiritual orientation, striving to find solutions for the myriad of problems in Puerto Rico.

In time, Helen discerned that she needed to address some of her own issues, and made a decision to leave religious life in 1980. After moving to Florida, she returned to Puerto Rico to direct a special project for federal prisoners in a privately contracted halfway house. She married Jacinto Betancourt, and they were happily married for nine years until his sudden and unexpected death at age 51.

“Sisters Joyce Caulfield and Elisa Doherty connected with me at Jacinto’s wake and were a source of consolation many times in the years that followed,” Helen wrote. She stayed in close contact with them until she retired in 2002. She moved to Sanford, Florida, and ministered through her presence to her siblings and their children.

A very Spirit-filled woman, Helen described spirituality as “a movement toward wholeness and the power of love. My prayer is an attitude of the mind and heart to praise and thank the Creator and Life Giver in the smallest things to the largest of creation.”

Helen was mentored by Sisters Clarice Moyle, OP, and Ann Englert, OP, and made the commitment to Associate Life in 2006. She attended Mission Group meetings and Chapter gatherings and submitted her Annals, describing her life of prayer.

Although her health was fragile for the last few years, Helen continued to send cards, pray, and to be present to others. She died at home on December 28, 2016.

A memorial Mass was celebrated for Helen on January 14 at All Souls Historic Chapel in Sanford, Florida. Many Sisters and Associates attended this celebration, including Associate Denise Dudley who shares the following about Helen.

“A woman of faith who lived her faith. Helen’s hunger and thirst for righteousness was evident. She fought for justice and lived her life for God. God was definitely present over her and God was ready to meet her. The best of Helen, to her, was her family. She was ninth of 14 children and moved to Sanford, Florida at the age of 6 and attended All Souls Catholic Church.” We thank God for the blessing that Helen was to her family, to our Congregation and to those who needed an advocate.

A memorial Mass was celebrated for Helen on January 14 at All Souls Historic Chapel in Sanford, Florida. Many Sisters and Associates attended this celebration, including Associate Denise Dudley who shares the following about Helen.

“A woman of faith who lived her faith. Helen’s hunger and thirst for righteousness was evident. She fought for justice and lived her life for God. God was definitely present over her and God was ready to meet her. The best of Helen, to her, was her family. She was ninth of 14 children and moved to Sanford, Florida at the age of 6 and attended All Souls Catholic Church.” We thank God for the blessing that Helen was to her family, to our Congregation and to those who needed an advocate.

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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