Although their education did not extend beyond eighth grade, which included no psychology or parenting classes, our parents provided a loving home environment. Hospitality was one of their special gifts and our home was constantly filled with relatives and friends. Whatever the techniques they used, the six of us all ended up possessing a good self-image and a deep love for one another that exists to this day. We often say that if we were penniless, we would be rich.
Such was the home life with which Dorothy Joanne Budenz and her five siblings – Henry Joseph, Louis William, Lawrence Francis, Jerome Quentin, and Mary Kathryn – were surrounded in their hometown of Terre Haute, Indiana.
Dorothy was the youngest of the six, born on October 25, 1932, to Clara Ann (Massing) Budenz and Henry Joseph Budenz Jr., who worked for the American Can Company. The family lived in Terre Haute until 1945, when Henry was transferred to Chicago.
For the Budenz family, life in Terre Haute in the 1930s and early 1940s was as typically “Americana” as could be, with a tight-knit neighborhood whose children played together, had lemonade stands, and put on theatrical productions in the Budenzes’ three-car garage. Dorothy loaded up her little red wagon with cucumbers to sell and also sold the Saturday Evening Post and the Ladies’ Home Journal. Much of life centered around St. Margaret Mary Parish, where the family attended church and where Dorothy was taught by the Sisters of Providence.
Read more about Sister Clara Ann (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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While I was in grammar school at Holy Cross in Santa Cruz, CA, Sister Clara Ann was a great part of our lives. She was well loved by students and parents alike. I am sad to read of her passing.ML Camera Class of 1970 HCHS
She will be missed. I was apart of the St. Lawrence O'Toole students that she taught and mentored. May the perpetual light of God's love shine upon her soul.
I was in high school at Holy Cross when Sister Clara Ann taught first grade there, so before school started she invited me to come and help her with bulletin boards. I was happy to do so. by the time I was a Senior, I would put up the background paper in every one of the eight classrooms. I entered and went out on Mission to St. Louis Bertrand in Oakland and was assigned 1st grade. A rumor got around that I had all of the "experience" doing bulletin boards when in fact all I knew was how to put up the background paper. It took a bit of time but I finally convinced my teaching partner that I NEEDED HELP!
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
We invite you to meet some of the wonderful women who have recently crossed into eternity.