In Memoriam

Sister Jean Charles Birney, OP


Sister Jean Charles Birney, formerly known as Elizabeth Ann Birney, died on Friday, August 3, 2018, at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 94 years of age and in the 76th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.

Sister was born in Jackson, Michigan, to Charles and Jean (Crawford) Birney. She graduated from St. Joseph Academy in Adrian, Michigan, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian, Michigan, and a Master of Arts degree in History from Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois.

Sister spent over 39 years ministering in education in Detroit and Dearborn, Michigan; Toledo and Cleveland, Ohio; Elmwood Park, Oak Park and Chicago, Illinois; and Jacksonville and Miami Shores, Florida. She was Pastoral Minister at St. Jude Parish in Saint Petersburg, Florida from 1981-1999. Sister became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in Adrian in 1999. 

Sister Jean Charles is survived by a half brother, Charles Birney, Jr. of Flint, Michigan, and two half sisters, Mrs. Charlene Sundquist of Farmington, Michigan, and Mrs. Patricia Lane of Ramona, California. She was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Sister Mary Jean Birney, also an Adrian Dominican Sister. 

Welcome of Sister Jean Charles will be on Monday, August 6, 2018, 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 of the Dominican Life Center. 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 Tuesday, August 7, 2018, at 10:30am. Both the Vigil Prayer and the Funeral Mass will be live streamed. The Rite of Committal will be in the Congregation cemetery. 

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.

Vigil for Sister Jean Charles:

Download video. Videos will be posted for 4-6 weeks, then removed.


Funeral for Sister Jean Charles:

Download video. Videos will be posted for 4-6 weeks, then removed.


From left: The future Sisters Mary Jean Birney, left, and Jean Charles Birney; Sisters Mary Jean Birney (left) and Jean Charles Birney before they entered the Adrian Dominican Congregation; Sisters Mary Jean Birney, left, and Jean Charles Birney

From left: Sister Jean Charles disembarks from the “Love Boat.” Sister Jean Charles Birney at Assumption, Jacksonville, Florida, 1976

Right: From left, Sisters Jean Charles Birney, Francis Assisium Proulx, Mary Jean Birney, and Maureen Gallagher enjoy a Golden Jubilee dinner together.

From left: Sister Jean Charles Birney, left, with Racine Dominican Sister Suzanne Noffke; Sister Mary Jane Lubinski, left, and Sister Jean Charles Birney

Members of the 2001 Diamond Jubilee Class are, back row, from left, Sisters Clara Patricks, Anne Marie Snyder, Agnes Carmel Dziak, and Mary Paula Connor and front row, from left, Sisters Marie Joannes O’Donnell, Jean Charles Birney, Mary Annette Glendening, and Loretta Ann Walsh. Not pictured are Sisters Marie Michel Allain and Virginia Mullins.


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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 .

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


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