In Memoriam


Sister Helen Hankerd, formerly known as Sister Mary Ingrid, died on Friday, January 20, 2023, at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 93 years of age and in the 74th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.

Sister Helen was born in Chelsea, Michigan, to Emmett and Oleta (Hutzel) Hankerd. She graduated from Chelsea High School and received a bachelor’s degree in music education from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian and a master’s degree in Music Education from Michigan State University in East Lansing.  

Sister spent 37 years ministering in education in Detroit, Ruth, Chelsea, Monroe, and Manchester, Michigan, and in Cincinnati, Wickliffe, and Medina, Ohio. She also ministered for 19 years as the Extended School Director for St. Thomas in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Sister became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in 2020.

Sister Helen was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Paul; and her sisters, Jane Cecile Hankerd and Rose Ann Salvante. She is survived by her sisters, Mary Houle of Chelsea and Therese Scharphorn and Eileen Brooks, both of Jackson, Michigan; other loving family members; and her Adrian Dominican Sisters.

COVID-19 vaccinated persons may attend the Vigil and Funeral in person. All are welcome to participate in Sister’s services via live stream

Visitation will be held from 6:30-7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 25, 2023, in the Gathering Space of St. Catherine Chapel. The Vigil Prayer will be held at 7:00 pm Wednesday, January 25, 2023, in St. Catherine Chapel. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered in St. Catherine Chapel at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, January 26, 2023. Prayers of Committal will be held in the Congregation Cemetery.

make a memorial giftMemorial 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's Prayer Card (PDF)

Vigil for Sister Helen

Worship Aid (PDF)

Download video. Videos will be posted for 4-6 weeks, then removed.

Funeral for Sister Helen

Worship Aid (PDF)

Download video. Videos will be posted for 4-6 weeks, then removed.


Left: Helen at the age of two. Right: The Hankerd siblings in 1944 are, back row, from left: Helen, Mary, and Therese, and front row, from left, Eileen, “Bud,” and Rose Ann.

Left: Helen as a 1947 graduate of Chelsea High School, Chelsea, Michigan. Right: Sister Helen with Father Don 

Right: From left, Sisters Helen Hankerd, Ann Bernadette Stein, and Patricia Weigang, St. Mary, Chelsea, 1990

Left: The Hankerd siblings celebrate Sister Helen's Golden Jubilee in 1998. They are, from left, Therese Scharphorn, Sister Helen, Paul “Bud” Hankerd, Eileen Brooks, Mary Houle, and Rose Ann Salvante.

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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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