In Memoriam


(1932-2022)

To end this rendition of my autobiography I am borrowing a little something I heard and liked. It’s the one about the woman who insisted she be buried in her casket with a fork in her hand. It turns out that her mother, always big on desserts, used to say after a big meal, “Keep ahold of your forks, kids – better surprises are coming!”

This I believe.

Virginia Louise Beattie, source of the above paragraph, was born in Waltham, Massachusetts, on March 16, 1932, to John and Mary (Judge) Beatty. She was the youngest of six children, with two brothers (John, known as Jack, and Raymond) and three sisters (Phyllis, Grace, and Barbara).

She wrote in her autobiography that her very Irish (with one Scottish grandfather in the mix) family loved to sing, dance, and tell stories. Mary could play the piano and mandolin by ear, and one of Sister Virginia’s earliest memories was of her mother singing “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” in the car on the way to Hampton Beach.

As a child Virginia herself loved music to the point that she was always whistling, humming, or singing. This apparently irritated her sisters, who would ask her if she always had to do that, and much later in life she found a song that expressed why the answer to their question was yes: “How Can I Keep From Singing?” – which was sung at her funeral.

She attended elementary school at St. Joseph School in Waltham, where she was taught by the Notre Dame de Namur Sisters. Her high school years were spent first at St. Mary High School in Waltham, and later at St. Mary High School and then Edison High School in Miami, Florida, as the family spent their winters there.

One fateful event took place during her younger days and another one occurred when she was a high school student. As a child, she was taken to Mass by her brother Jack, who was her godfather, and one Sunday a Maryknoll priest was there to give a mission appeal. Jack signed her up for a subscription to the Maryknoll magazine, and over the subsequent years the publication played a role in sparking her interest in religious life.

The high-school era event took place when she attended Mass at Barry College (University) with her parents one day and met several Adrian Dominican Sisters. This led her to decide she wanted to attend Barry.

Read more about Sister Virginia (PDF)

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


Vigil for Sister Virginia

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Funeral for Sister Virginia

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(1932-2022)

I will always remember her as an avid Southern conversationalist, with many a story to tell – always ready for a listening ear and always with her special style and smile.

Sister Jo Gaugier’s remembrance of Sister Frances Barfield concluded with that paragraph written about a woman who was indeed well acquainted with the South, given that Sister Frances was born in Pensacola, Florida, and spent virtually all of her ministerial life in either Florida, Louisiana, or South Carolina.

Frances Louise Barfield was born on July 22, 1932, to Theresa (Post) Streeter, who had married Earl Streeter when she was sixteen and Earl was twenty-six. They moved from their native Gainesville, Florida, to Pensacola, where Earl worked as a mechanic at the Naval Air Station. The couple had two children: Theresa in 1926 and then Frances. By the time Frances was born, however, Earl had deserted the family.

Her mother remarried when Frances was three years old, to David Coulson Barfield, a teacher at Pensacola High School who was “a good and kindly man,” Sister Frances wrote in her autobiography. Four more children came into the family: David, Jesse, Albert, and Genevieve, and David also adopted Frances and her sister.

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. 

 

 

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


(1932-2022)

The small town of St. Johns, Arizona, about ninety miles southeast of Winslow, was the birthplace of Barbara Ann Mason on October 26, 1932.

Barbara was the fourth child born to Mary (Marquez) and Augustine Mason, joining her sister Esmel and two brothers, Leo and Herman. Another brother, Augustine (called Auggie), came later. A baby boy died of pneumonia when Barbara was in second grade.

She attended public school in St. Johns even after most of the family moved to Winslow when she was about ten years old; Esmel, who was an adult by that time, remained in St. Johns and Barbara lived with her during the school year.

Augustine was a railroad worker and Mary was a talented seamstress who made many of the children’s clothes herself. Their son Herman in particular seems to have inherited Mary’s creative streak, for he loved to draw and make things like Valentine’s Day cards out of paper and paste he made himself out of flour and water. He also was a good baker, going to work for a local bakery at age fifteen or sixteen and learning the craft very well. “He sometimes brought things home for the family and my mother was happy about that,” Sister Barbara Ann said in her life story.

Read more about Sister Barbara Ann (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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(1929-2022)

Fifteen children in all – ten girls and five boys – were born into the marriage of Edward and Hilda (Wellnitz) Thielk, beginning with Elizabeth in 1922 all the way to John, twenty-five years later in 1947. Of them, Shirley was the sixth, born on July 16, 1929.

The Thielks lived in Detroit, where Edward worked at Fisher Body, which was later part of General Motors. Over time, he rose through the ranks to become superintendent for material control. Hilda worked as a bookkeeper for a small company before marrying Edward in 1921.

In a 1985 class assignment at Siena Heights College (University) as Sister Shirley was working on her master’s in counseling, she wrote about her parents:

It seems to me that both my parents were extremely effective in modeling for us, their children, the values they believed in. They did not say to us one thing, and then live another. For one thing, it was very apparent to me as a child that my parents loved each other.

… Dad was also very affectionate, not just to Mother, but to all his children also, kissing and hugging all who were present at his departure from or his arrival home.

Read more about Sister Shirley (PDF)

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

 

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


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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