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When Sister Mary Irene Walker and her longtime friend Sister Rosaire McAuliffe moved to the Dominican Life Center, one of the earliest campus projects Sister Mary Irene undertook was to plant the dahlia tubers she had brought with her.
Her love for the bright flowers which came to be so identified with her dated back many years to the time she went to the Washington State Fair. There, in the horticulture building, she was astounded at the rows upon rows of them on display there. Having never seen dahlias before, she had to ask what they were.
“That was it. I was hooked that very moment,” she said in her January 2016 “A Sister’s Story” video. And so, from that time on, every time she left one home to move to another, she brought dahlia tubers with her to every new residence including her last one, the Dominican Life Center.
Sister Mary Irene was born Janet Murray Walker on October 30, 1936, in Seattle to Glen and Irene (Spanbauer) Walker. Glen was a Washington State native, while Irene grew up in Schenectady, New York. The two met in Schenectady, which was the home of General Electric, due to a happy coincidence: Glen, an electrical engineer, would come to town for meetings during which the local college that Irene attended would hold dances for the students and the young engineers – and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.
Read more about Sister Mary Irene (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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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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