Sister Joanne Podlucky, formerly known as Sister Jessica, died on Wednesday, December 25, 2019, at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 71 years of age and in the 52nd year of her religious profession in religious life, 12 years in the Vincentian Sisters of Charity and 40 years in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.
Sister Joanne was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, to Joseph and Julia (Viboch) Podlucky. She graduated from Vincentian High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and received a bachelor’s degree in English from La Roche College in Pittsburgh and a master’s degree in communication from University of Notre Dame.
Sister Joanne spent nine years ministering as an elementary and junior high school teacher in Pittsburgh, Duquesne, and Donora, Pennsylvania; Montgomery, Alabama; and Chicago, Illinois. She also served for eight years as the advertising coordinator and public relations and communications director for the Adrian Dominican Sisters; eight years as media specialist and the director of corporate communications for Mercy Health Services in Farmington Hills, Michigan; 10 years as video producer and communication consultant as JPT Communications in Plymouth, Michigan. She spent 11 years in various administrative positions for the Dominican Center for Religious Development in Detroit.
Sister Joanne became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in Adrian in 2016. She Joanne was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by two sisters: Francine Hill (Donald) of Missouri City, Texas, and Carolyn Silka (Joseph) of Carlisle, Pennsylvania; and two brothers: Joseph Podlucky (Su Shan) of Camp Hill, and Ronald Podlucky (Dorothy) of Windber, both in Pennsylvania.
Welcome of Sister Joanne will be on Friday, December 27, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. in the Dominican Life Center lobby; the Wake will follow from 6:15 to 7:00 p.m. in the Rose Room. The Reception of the Body and Vigil Prayer will be at 7:00 p.m. in St. Catherine Chapel. The Mass of Christian burial will be offered in St. Catherine Chapel on Saturday, December 28, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. Both the Vigil Prayer and the Mass of Christian Burial will be live streamed. The Rite of Committal will be in the Congregation cemetery.
Memorial 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.
Left: The future Sister Joanne Podlucky, age 2. Center: Sister Joanne as a Sister of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul
From left: Sister Joanne’s parents, Julia and Joseph Podlucky. Sister Joanne cuts her Silver Jubilee cake while her mother watches.
From left, Sisters Charlotte Hoefer, Maureen Comer, and Joanne Podlucky. Sister Joanne prepares for a photo shoot at Regina Dominican High School, Wilmette, Illinois.
From left: Sister Joanne Podlucky speaks during a session of General Chapter 2004. From left, Sisters Maureen Comer, Carol Fleming, and Joanne Podlucky
From left, Sisters Dorothy Guettler, Mary Pat Dewey, and Joanne Podlucky. Sisters Joanne Podlucky (left) and Charlotte Hoefer
Member of the 2017 Golden Jubilarian August 1967 Reception crowd are: back row, from left, Sisters Kathleen Klingen, Marie Skebe, Corinne Mary Florek, and Donna Markham; middle row, from left, Sisters Joanne Podlucky, Mary Jane Lubinski, Ellen Burkhardt, Patricia Siemen (Prioress) and Donna Marie Baker; and front row, from left, Sisters Marie Solanus Reilly, Julie Hyer, Nancy Jurecki, and Nancy Murray.
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Sister Mary Ann Ferguson, formerly known as Sister Mary LaVerne, died on Sunday, December 15, 2019, at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 79 years of age and in the 60th year of her religious profession, 17 years as a member of the Felician Sisters of Livonia, and in her 43rd year in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.
Sister Mary Ann was born in Hamtramck, Michigan, to Edmund and Lydia (Wyborny) Ferguson. She graduated from Ladywood High School in Livonia and received a bachelor’s degree in social studies from Madonna College in Livonia.
Sister Mary Ann ministered as an elementary school teacher and principal for 20 years in Livonia, Manistee, Redford, Mt. Clemens, Detroit, Dearborn Heights, Southgate, and Dearborn, Michigan. She was the Public Relations Director at Aquinas High School in Southgate, Michigan, for four years and was Director of Pastoral Care in Lansing, Michigan, and Buffalo, New York, for 6½ years.
Sister Mary Ann served in support service positions for two years in various businesses in the Okemos/Lansing area, and was Aftercare Coordinator at Tiffany Funeral Home in Lansing, Michigan, for 5½ years. Sister became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in Adrian in 2014.
Sister Mary Ann was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers Timothy and Ronald. She is survived by brothers Edmund Ferguson (Janice) of Gladwin and Kenneth Ferguson (Shirley) of Gladwin and sisters Gwen Moore (Andy) of Lansing and Jackie Reaume (Leonard) of Gladwin, all in Michigan.
Welcome of Sister Mary Ann will be on Wednesday, December 18, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. in the Dominican Life Center lobby; the Wake will follow from 6:15 to 7:00 p.m. in the Rose Room. The Reception of the Body and Vigil Prayer will be at 7:00 p.m. in St. Catherine Chapel. The Funeral Mass will be offered in St. Catherine Chapel on Thursday, December 19, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. Both the Vigil Prayer and the Mass of Christian Burial will be live streamed. The Rite of Committal will be in the Congregation cemetery.
From left, Sisters Jacqueline Phillips, Mary Dougherty, Lorraine Réaume, and Mary Ann Ferguson. Sister Mary Ann with a special banner for the 800th Jubilee of the Dominican family, May 16, 2007
Right: Members of the 2019 Diamond Jubilee crowd are: back row, from left, Sisters Sarah Ann Sharkey, Susan Van Baalen, Mary Emidio Singer, Christa Marsik, and Patricia Siemen (Prioress); row 3, from left, Sisters Joan Christine Meerschaert, Rosemary Zuccaro, Joan Marie Weithman, and Jean Keeley; row 2, from left, Sisters Mary Ann Ferguson, Jo Ann Jauquet, Mary Jean Clemenger, Beverly Bobola, Jane Zimmerman, and Peter Anthony Schulte; and front row, from left, Sisters Dorothy Glaister (standing), Sean Eileen Allgeyer, Joan Krajewski, Emilie Petelin, and Teresa Disch (standing).
From left: Celebrating Sister Mary Ann’s 2019 Diamond Jubilee are, from left, Sisters Joanne Spisz, Leontia Cooney, Arlene Seckel, and Mary Ann Ferguson. Sister Lorraine Sinn, left, and Sister Mary Ann Ferguson
“My fourth grade held a very important incident – I became a full-fledged Dominican nun!”
This line begins a section bearing the title “Today I Am a Dominican!” in the autobiography Sister Joan Unger wrote at age sixteen. A reader puzzled by the assertion that Joan became a Dominican sister in fourth grade – and by the photos included showing the nine-year-old in a white habit – would see the mystery solved in just a few sentences; she went on to explain that she had played a nun in a school play. Still, however, one line from the teenaged Joan’s story about that experience would turn out to be prophetic: “You know, being a nun was fun. I think I’ll try it again sometime!”
Joan Adele Unger was born June 4, 1932, in Seattle, Washington, to Nathan and Ann (Sexton) Unger. She was the youngest of six children: two boys (James and Richard) and three girls (Natalie, Dorothy, and Rosemary) preceded her in the family.
Read more about Sister Joan (PDF)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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)
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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