In Memoriam

Sister Laura Marie Smith, OP


Sister Laura Marie Smith, baptized Ruth Dolores Smith, died on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 91 years of age and in the 67th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.

Sister was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to William and Laura (Dunn) Smith. She graduated from St. Peter High School in Cleveland, Ohio, and received a bachelor’s degree in history from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian and a Master of Education degree in Administration from Barry College (University) in Miami Shores, Florida.

Sister spent 47 years ministering in elementary education in Detroit, New Baltimore, and Romeo, Michigan; St. Petersburg, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Miami Beach, Miami, and Miami Shores, Florida; Wickliffe and Rocky River, Ohio; and Alameda and San Diego, California. 

She was principal at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Wickliffe, for six years and at St. Christopher School in Rocky River, for three years. Sister was also principal at St. Philip Neri in Alameda from 1974 to 1986 and at St. Therese Academy in San Diego from 1986 to1990. From 2002 to 2012, Sister Laura Marie worked in communications and public relations in the Adrian Dominican Development Office in Detroit and later Eastpointe, Michigan.

Sister Laura Marie became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan, in 2012. She was preceded in death by her parents and her sisters, Willlaura Smith and Mary Lee Fink. She is survived by a loving niece and her Adrian Dominican Sisters.

Welcome of Sister Laura Marie will be on Thursday, March 5, 2020, 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 Friday, March 6, 2020, 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.

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 Laura Marie:

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


Funeral for Sister Laura Marie:

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


Left: At her sister Norma’s wedding, April 10, 1948

From left: Dolores, the future Sister Laura Marie Smith, with her mother, 1930. Attending an October 2002 Dominican High School event are, from left, Sisters Rita Sieg, Adrienne Schaffer, Dorothea Gramlich, Laura Pesick, Laura Marie Smith, and Mary Lisa Rieman. 

Right: Attending the wedding of the niece of Sister Laura Marie Smith are, from left, Sisters Clara Ann Budenz, Joanne O’Connor, and Laura Marie Smith; Laura Lee and her husband Joseph Soto; and Sister Laura Pesick.

Enjoying a game of Mexican Train are, from left, Sisters Thérèse M. Haggerty, Norma Dell, Joan Murphy, Laura Marie Smith, and Jeannine Holway.

Right: Members of the 2002 Golden Jubilee, August crowd are, back row, from left Sisters Diane Odette, Norma Dell, Elizabeth Ross, Mary Giacopelli, and Marie Quenneville and front row, from left, Sisters Mary Nugent, Claudia Hinds, Jean Horger, Mary Ann Zakrajsek, Kathleen Buechele, and Laura Marie Smith.

Leave your comments and remembrances (if you don't see the comment box below, click on the "Read More" link).

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Avatar  Steven Babjak 3 weeks agoReply

Today and Always I will honor such a remarkable individual. Sr Laura Marie was my elementary principal at St Philip Neri School in Alameda, Ca. She inspired me to always exceed expectations and strive for excellence. She and Sr Laura Mary were more than just teachers. They became a part of my family and my parents always welcomed them in our home. My Dad and Sr Laura Marie connected immediately as fellow Buccaneers.

God Speed Sr Laura Marie!

Avatar  Laura Carter 3 months agoReply

Sending our condolences to Sr. Laura's family of Dominican sisters. Always in our thoughts and prayers.
The Pesick Family

Avatar  Nancy Marsh CSJ 3 months agoReply

RiP Sr Laura Marie, she taught me in 8th grade at Assumption grade school in Jacksonville 1962.
One of the best teachers I ever had.
Thank you for your faithful example and good education.

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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