In Memoriam


(1931-2019)

I am coming to terms with the fact that time is fleeting, and I have tried to give values to the students I have worked with. The values that I hope I have instilled are a love and craving for learning, and an appreciation for books. If I have touched any people to want to do these, I have accomplished my bit in bettering the world.

These words come near the end of the voluminous autobiography written by Sister Patricia DeMay in 2001 as she was ending her full-time ministry at the University of West Alabama in favor of adjunct status. “I have experienced many times, places, people,” she also wrote in that paragraph. “I have taught from grades K-6 and college, have been school principal and school librarian. What more could I ask?”

Sister Patricia was born on May 5, 1931, in Jackson, Michigan, to Cuthbert and Myrtle (Bleicher) DeMay. Cuthbert was a physician in Jackson, while Myrtle had trained as a nurse and met her future husband during her training. The couple married on November 7, 1918, just a few days before the end of World War I, while Cuthbert was serving in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. After their wedding, they lived at Camp McClellan, Alabama, until Cuthbert’s time in the service was up in February 1919.

Three children came into the DeMay family: John in 1919, Mary in 1921, and finally, ten years later, Patricia. Patricia wrote in her autobiography that her parents, with their unusual names, wanted their children to have “common” names, and she was named Patricia Ann and nicknamed Patsy. She hated “Patsy,” she wrote, but the name stuck until she was halfway through high school, when she became “Pat.” 

Read more about Sister Pat (PDF)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Anderson-Marry Funeral Home, Adrian.

 


 

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(1926-2019)

The very small town of Springerville, Arizona, in the east-central part of the state just 17 miles from the border with New Mexico, gave the Adrian Dominican Sisters the twenty-four-year-old Ida Mae Herbella.

Ida Mae was the seventh of ten children born to Dario and Eladia (Dominquez) Herbella after the couple moved to Arizona from the Galacian Province of their native Spain. The three “middle children” died in infancy before Ida Mae came into the family, leading age-wise to a set of three older children, a gap of several years, and then the younger four beginning with Ida Mae. It was almost like having two families merged into one, she wrote in her autobiography. She was twelve years old when the youngest sibling, Jaqueline, age four, died of diphtheria.

Dario had been conscripted into the Spanish army as a young man and served until being medically discharged due to a hernia. He then went to work in a mine, where he earned 25 cents a day in addition to having his room and board provided, and eventually he saved up enough money to book passage on a ship to Cuba. There, he worked in the sugar cane fields until he had the money to go by ship to San Francisco, where he worked as a longshoreman. Working hard and continuing to save gave him the means to return to Spain as a successful man.

Read more about Sister Mary Daria (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).


(1943-2019)

With a father who was a judge and a mother who passed her own love of nature on to her children, Maureen Fenlon learned early on the importance of both social justice and caring for the Earth. These qualities shaped most of her life in ministry as an Adrian Dominican Sister.

Sister Maureen was born on May 29, 1943, in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, to James and Noel (Finlan) Fenlon. Her entrance into the world was not at all certain; Noel spent three days in labor and neither mother nor baby was expected to survive the ordeal. But survive they did, and Maureen became the fourth of five children born to the couple in less than five years: Brian in August 1940, Paul in May 1941, Dennis in April 1942, Maureen, and finally Shauna in June 1945. “We were close not only in age but as lively playmates,” she wrote.

James Fenlon and his brother were both attorneys who became judges, and Maureen said in her life story that listening to their conversations shaped in her a sense of fairness, justice, and compassion. Both men believed in leniency for the people they sentenced, she said, despite criticism from law enforcement, and “I learned a lot about social justice and it made me proud of them for their compassionate ways.”

Read more about Sister Maureen (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).


(1920-2019)

My views on missionary life have certainly changed over the years, since at the beginning I thought I was ministering to the poor in Pamplona, but as time went on I realized that I was being ministered to by my Pamplona friends. Several theologians and writers are asking the same question: What do we learn from the poor of the world?

These words are found in the life story of Sister Mary K. Duwelius, who spent more than three decades ministering in the Dominican Republic and Peru in addition to serving migrant populations during her many years in south Florida.

Dorothy Catherine Duwelius was born on June 26, 1920, in Elkhart, Indiana, to John and Mabel (Ness) Duwelius. She was one of four children, along with her brother Kenneth and two younger sisters who were identical twins, Eileen and Arlene. “Both our parents were happy, holy, and hard-working,” she said. “Mother kept everything under control and we children knew how to settle down when advised to do so.”

Sister Mary K.’s lifelong commitment to social justice and the poor may well have come from her Depression-era upbringing, instilled by her parents. A railroad track ran directly behind their home, and those riding the trains often knocked on the back door asking for something to eat – and could always find a meal there.

Life in the Duwelius home revolved around activities in the family parish, St. Vincent’s in Elkhart. John was an usher and active in many church groups, while Mabel “was a great organizer of ice cream socials, dinners and card parties” in the parish. All the children attended the parish school. “Each day we would devoutly pray before class and then break forth loudly singing ‘Cheer, cheer for Old Notre Dame,’” Sister Mary K. said. “I didn’t find this strange and for years thought that this was done in all Catholic schools in the world.”

Read more about Sister Mary K. (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. 


We will post memorial reflections on our faithfully departed Sisters and Associates. If you would like to reflect on a Sister or Associate who has gone before us, please send your reflections – no more than 500 to 600 words – to Sister Barb Kelley (bkelley@adriandominicans.org).


We invite you to meet some of the wonderful women who have recently crossed into eternity.

2019

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