In Memoriam


(1935-2021)

In December 1959, a twenty-four-year-old graduate student at The Catholic University of America, Mary Elizabeth Gaiss, wrote to Mother Gerald Barry seeking entrance to the Congregation.

“I have always had a very strong attraction toward the life and work of a nun and this has become even stronger since I have talked with the Dominicans,” she wrote, explaining that she had been guided toward Dominican life by Sister Marie Carolyn Harrison, who was at the Adrian Dominican House of Studies at the time. Sister Marie Carolyn also suggested that she speak with a particular Dominican priest, but Sister Betty always thought of Sister Marie Carolyn as playing the key role.

“She was good to everyone and included me in many things, so that I got to meet lots of people. That was a very significant time in my life,” Sister Betty said in her 2019 “A Sister’s Story” video.

By the time she wrote to Mother Gerald, Elizabeth, better known as Betty, had already earned an undergraduate degree from New York State College for Teachers (in 1957) and taught science and math on the seventh, eighth, and ninth grade levels. Wanting to be able to teach higher grades, she had enrolled at Catholic University in order to earn her master’s in chemistry … but, as her letter to Mother Gerald shows, God had other plans for her than to remain a lay teacher.

Read more about Sister Mary Elizabeth (PDF)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. 

 

 

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(1934-2021)

February 14, 1934, was a special day in the small town of Winslow, Arizona, for three reasons: it was Valentine’s Day, it was the twenty-second anniversary of Arizona statehood, and it was the day Joseph and Lillian (Bueter) Wetzel welcomed their first child, Frances.

Joseph was born in Monroe, Louisiana, while Lillian was a native of Charlestown, Indiana. The couple met in Winslow and married in 1932, and in time three children came into the family: Frances, Betty, and Joe. Joseph was a postal carrier and on occasion allowed Frances to ride along when he delivered mail to the nearby Navajo reservation so she could play with some of the children as he made his rounds.

“Growing up in a small town is the best way to experience childhood,” Sister Frances wrote in her life story. “When the nation was going through war and depression, the whole town pulled together and looked after each other. Everybody knew everybody. This is where I developed my fondness for the Navajo people.”

She first came to know the Adrian Dominican Sisters in 1939, when Sister Mary Luke Kinstle and three other sisters arrived in Winslow to open a catechetical center. The Sisters also provided a kindergarten and music lessons, and although Frances was old enough for first grade her mother enrolled her in the kindergarten so as to help the Sisters financially.

Read more about Sister Frances (PDF)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.


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(1931-2021)

My siblings were James, who was the smartest (he spoke five languages); Charlie, who was the best looking; Mary, who was the kindest; Virginia who was most athletic; and Thomas who was the most affectionate. I was considered the most congenial.

This was how Sister Marion O’Loughlin described James and Marion Florence O’Loughlin’s six children, of whom she was the fifth, in her life story.

Sister Marion was born on January 11, 1931, and was baptized Elizabeth Ray. In an autobiography she wrote for an Edmonds Dominican publication (Spring 2003), she wrote that she was happy to learn that Elizabeth meant “Gift of God,” and “[m]ore than once I told my three brothers and two sisters not to forget it.”

The family moved to Redwood City, California, when Elizabeth was nine months old. She attended public school for her elementary years and then went to Notre Dame High School in Belmont, California.

Although she liked the Notre Dame Sisters who were her teachers, she was not inspired to join them. Her call to religious life would come from a different direction.

Read more about Sister Marion (PDF)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. 

 


 

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(1944-2021)

Associate Kathleen Unti gave much of her time, love, and energy to people in her family, her community, and the hospices where she volunteered. 

Kathy was born on July 7, 1944, in Detroit, the youngest child of William and Frances (Brinker) McCarty. She joined her sister Patricia and her brother William. Kathy attended St. Matthew School and Dominican High School, where she met the Adrian Dominican Sisters. By the time she was in high school, Pat had entered the Congregation. 

A student at the University of Detroit, Kathy married Walt Unti. They moved to Ann Arbor, where she began a career as a dental hygienist. Walt and Kathy had three children, now married with families of their own: Patricia (Robert) Healy, Michael (Evangeline), and Susan Yingling. Kathy and Walt are blessed with seven grandchildren. 

As their children were growing up, the family moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where Kathy enrolled at Aquinas College. She graduated in 1985 and established a real estate firm there. She led a busy life of family, work, and faith.

Kathy was called to the vocation of hospice volunteer. She volunteered at hospices for the next 35 years: in Sonoma, California, where she also volunteered as a docent and took fifth-graders on hikes in the mountains; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Easton, Maryland. 

Kathy was especially close to her sister, supporting and comforting her during treatments for cancer in 1998. This strengthened the bonds between the sisters.

Called to the Dominican charism, Kathy joined Associate Life on July 7, 2006, mentored by María Romero, OP. She loved being part of this group and faithfully submitted her annals. She shared her compassion through hospice and in any way she was needed. Kathy was a lifelong learner, interested in many things. She gave generously of her time and talent. 

The past few years have been very challenging for Kathy and her family. Her son-in-law Craig Yingling died in 2019. She fought cancer herself while being concerned with the health of her sister Pat, who died in 2021. Even though Kathy and Walt lived in Maryland, her funeral took place at the Blessed Solanus Casey Center in Detroit. May she rest in peace.

View Kathleen's obituary.

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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. 


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