In Memoriam

Associate Peggy Treece Myles(1953-2022)

Peggy Treece Myles was born on January 8, 1953, in Findlay, Ohio, to Jasper and Thelma Treece. She is survived by her sister, Janet Koehl, and her brother Jack, and was predeceased by her brother Eugene (Homer).

Peggy grew up with a love of learning. She received a bachelor’s degree from Findlay College, a master’s degree from Bowling Green State University, and a doctorate from the University of Toledo.

Peggy met her beloved husband, John, while in graduate school. They married in 1980 and lived in Wauseon, Ohio. They traveled often, especially to Maine, where they had dear friends.

A life-long learner and an educator, Peggy’s accomplishments are many. While working on her dissertation, she was introduced to Sister Miriam (Michael) Stimson, OP, who felt that Peggy was a great fit as an adjunct professor on research methodology at Siena Heights College (now University) in Adrian. Through this connection, Peggy was introduced to our Sisters and eventually to Associate Life.

The Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Vision to “seek, truth, make peace, and reverence life” spoke to Peggy profoundly. When Sister Miriam retired from her position as Director of Graduate Studies, Peggy succeeded her. Peggy met Sister Anthonita Porta, OP, founder and director of the Adrian Dominican Montessori Teacher Education Institute. Peggy served as president of the board and Sister Anthonita became her dear friend and mentor. Peggy joined Associate Life in 2001.

For many years, Peggy participated in the New Hope Mission Group and was the only Associate. She was the permanent secretary and worked on projects with Mary Jane Lubinski, OP, Chapter Prioress of Adrian Crossroads Mission Chapter. She embraced every pillar of the Dominican Charism: Prayer, Study, Community, and Service.

From 2009 until the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, Peggy came monthly to Madden Hall to meet with other Associates and participate in a book group. She also worked behind the scenes for many of our Partners gatherings. We could rely on her to give an informed, prayerful response and was generous with her time and talents. Each year, she helped to ensure that every Sister received a Christmas card.

Peggy volunteered at the Ten Thousand Villages store, a not-for-profit fair-trade store. She continued to coach and mentor students working on their dissertations and was involved with Dining for Women. Participants gathered monthly for a potluck dinner and a program about a project in a developing or emerging country. The women donated the money saved through the potluck to the project they studied.

A prolific reader, Peggy studied many publications each month, remaining current on the state of the world in the areas of climate change, immigration, diversity, politics, and the marginalization of peoples.

Peggy also enjoyed sewing, gardening, and watching PBS and BBC. She was a devoted fan of actor Mark Harmon, of NCIS. She participated in the Lands of Dominic and traveled to 27 states, as well as Canada, France, and Spain. She also participated in marches and demonstrations, such as the Women’s March on Washington, D.C.

The last year brought a lot of health challenges to Peggy. She really didn’t want anyone to fuss over her as she battled cancer, which took her life on September 9, 2022.

Peggy leaves a legacy of service, love, devotion, and excellence. 


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I am told that when being carried home from my baptism, we passed the convent [at St. Brigid School, Detroit] and one of the sisters called out, “Is that the new Flaherty baby?” And she invited the group in, placed the baby (me) on the chapel altar and said, “Someday she will be one of us.”

Whoever that unidentified Adrian Dominican Sister was who made that prophetic statement about Betty Flaherty recounted in Sister Betty’s 2013 autobiography, she turned out to be correct.

Elizabeth Jane Flaherty was born on November 25, 1931, in Detroit to Stephen and Helen (Keeley) Flaherty. She was the seventh of eight children, her siblings being John, Gerald, Patrick, Rita, Marie, Margaret, and Kathleen.

Stephen, who worked for the Plymouth Motor Company, and Helen modeled a home life that revolved around family, school, and parish. Sister Betty recalled a childhood that included homework around the kitchen table under their mother’s supervision, cheering their father on at the parish softball games, regular trips to the library with Rita and Patrick, family and neighborhood sports and activities, “but most of all, music. We grew up around the piano as Dad played for family and neighborhood sing-a-longs.”

Betty’s elementary schooling at St. Brigid School brought her into contact with the Adrian Dominican Sisters. Her high school years were spent at Immaculata High School, where she was taught by Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Sisters.

Read more about Sister Betty (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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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. 


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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. 



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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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