A large white house on Lakewood Avenue on the east side of Detroit, in St. Ambrose Parish, was home to Robert and Mary Jo (Pease) Plummer and their family of seven boisterous children including Mary Ellen, the second oldest. Eighteen years separated the oldest, Bill, and the youngest, Liz. In between, in addition to Mary Ellen, came Cathy, John, Margaret, and Virginia.
Robert and Mary Jo were both Montana natives (Missoula and Butte, respectively) who met as students at the University of Montana. The pair married and moved to Boston, where Robert, who had entered officers’ training with the U.S. Navy, studied sonar technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Eventually, he was in the submarine service in the Pacific during World War II.
After the war, the couple moved to the Detroit area, where Robert went to work for the U.S. Rubber Company, now Uniroyal. When Sister Mary Ellen was born on September 14, 1946, the family lived in a small house in what is now Harper Woods, but when she was four years old they moved to the home on Lakewood.
“It was there that we roller-skated for hours (our driveway was the best in the neighborhood!), played house, raked leaves, grew gardens, made snow people (and had great snowball fights!), and bumbled our way through school and adolescence toward adulthood,” Sister Mary Ellen wrote in her life story.
Read more about Sister Mary Ellen (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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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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