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I lay claim to being pure “Dominican” from birth.
Marilyn Rita Shinkey, the future Sister Ann Rena, was not only the daughter of a mother born to Italian-immigrant parents, but her mother’s name – Rena Dominic – even fit the bill.
Born in Streator, Illinois, on August 31, 1933, Marilyn was the only child of Rena and Frederick Shinkey. Frederick was born in Paxton, Illinois, and had farmed and ranched out West before returning to his home state and settling in Streator, where he worked as a plant foreman.
Marilyn’s childhood was a happy, active one. She loved sports and anything to do with the outdoors. From the age of ten she knew she wanted to be a teacher, and because of her athletic as well as academic abilities, she earned scholarships in both areas to Illinois State University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in education, majoring in physical education, in 1955.
“Only the hand of God could account for my next move,” she wrote in her autobiography. After graduating from college, she was hired to teach physical education and social studies at Mount St. Mary Academy. It was her introduction to the Adrian Dominican Sisters, as well as something of a re-introduction to Catholicism in general; her parents were both lapsed Catholics, and although she had been baptized and made her first Communion she had not been confirmed. “Needless to say, that was completed in my three years at the Mount,” she wrote.
Read more about Sister Ann Rena (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
Sister's Prayer Card (PDF)
Worship Aid (PDF)
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Lisa was a gentle, humble woman. She had challenges but she always met them head on with noteworthy patience, never complaining, moving forward even if the pace had to be slower. Her self-acceptance gave her the unique perspective and opportunity to be with others where they were.
This description of Sister Mary Lisa Rieman comes from her funeral homily, written by Sister Mary Jane Lubinski about a woman whose family and friends remembered her as loving, generous with her time and talents – and always up for a spirited game of Rummikub.
Elizabeth Louise Rieman was born on July 1, 1941, in Leipsic, Ohio, to Leo and Kathryn (Schroeder) Rieman, the son and daughter of farming families who lived near each other. She was the oldest of five, followed by Dorothy, Donald, Stephen, and Joseph, and the multi-generational home also included Leo’s parents.
Leo farmed 150 acres and raised a variety of animals, and as is typical of farm families, everyone pitched in to do the work. Sister Lisa wrote in her life story that she learned to milk a cow when she was about six years old.
Read more about Sister Mary Lisa (PDF)
Memorial 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.
Sister Dorothea Gramlich, formerly known as Sister Raymund Ann, died on Thursday, January 21, 2021, at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 81 years of age and in the 63rd year of her religious profession with the Adrian Dominican Sisters.
Sister was born in Wyandotte, Michigan, to Lester and Dorothea (LaCourse) Gramlich. She graduated from Our Lady of Mercy School in Detroit, received a bachelor’s degree in English from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian; and earned a master’s in elementary education from De Paul University in Chicago.
Sister Dorothea spent 41½ years ministering in education and other ministries in Elmwood Park, St. Charles, Joliet, and Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Southgate, Allen Park, Livonia, Lincoln Park, Wyandotte, Birmingham, Bingham Farms, and Redford, Michigan; and Des Moines, Iowa. She ministered for one year in transportation services for the Adrian Dominican Congregation in Adrian.
Sister Dorothea became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in Adrian in 2012. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Chuck. She is survived by four brothers: John (Andrea) Burgeson of Clinton Township and Mark (Diane) Burgeson of Rochester Hills, both in Michigan, and Greg (Rita) Burgeson of Rutherfordton, North Carolina; one sister, Ann Cane of Inkster, Michigan; loving nieces and nephews; and her Adrian Dominican Sisters.
Due to COVID-19 mitigation protocols, the Dominican Life Center is closed until further notice to all guests or visitors. All are welcome to participate in Sister’s wake and funeral via live stream.
The Vigil Prayer will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 26, 2021, in St. Catherine Chapel. A Word Service will be offered in St. Catherine Chapel at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, January 27, 2021. Prayers of Committal will be held in the back of St. Catherine Chapel.
Prayer Card (PDF)
Anne lived and shared life with the poor and needy in many cultures. She brought to life the words of Scripture: God is near to the brokenhearted and God hears the cry of the poor.
Sister Peggy Coyne, Adrian Crossroads Mission Chapter Prioress, concluded her eulogy for Sister Anne Liam Lees with these words, describing a woman who had spent much of her life in ministry in places such as inner-city Detroit, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.
Sister Anne Liam was born January 23, 1932, in Decatur, Illinois, and baptized Margaret Frances. She was the second of six children born to William and Anne (Hines) Lees, along with Mary Anne, Robert, Paul, Michael, and Richard.
William was a proud son of Wisconsin, with a great love for fishing and ice-skating and other winter sports. While the family lived in Decatur, he delivered Hostess Cake products and milk in a horse-drawn wagon, often singing made-up songs as he drove. Anne, an Illinois native, was trained as a beautician and for many years operated a beauty shop in the family home.
Read more about Sister Anne Liam (pdf)
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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