In Memoriam


Micah tells us in the first reading to “Do the right thing, love goodness and walk humbly with your God.”  This is a perfect description of Marlene’s life. Last evening we heard about Marlene’s gentleness, love and compassion – with a smile larger than life. The comment was made, “she always showed up.”

This paragraph opened Sister Mary Kay Homan’s funeral homily for Sister Marlene Ptaszynski, whose long service as a member of the Congregation included more than forty-five years as a chaplain and pastoral minister.

Marlene Rita was born in Detroit on September 21, 1936, to Joseph and Gertrude (Stachowiak) Ptaszynski. Joseph was born in Poland; came with his parents to Hartford, Connecticut; and as a young adult moved to Detroit, where he became an autoworker and was eventually employed by the United Auto Workers union. He and Gertrude, who grew up as part of Detroit’s large Polish community, had two children: Beverly-Ann, the oldest, and Marlene.

The family lived on the city’s east side, where the children attended St. Jude School. Thus began Marlene’s acquaintance with the Adrian Dominican Sisters, a relationship that continued through her high school years at Dominican High.

Her career plans originally did not involve the convent; she wanted to go to nursing school. In her senior year, however, she began thinking of religious life, and with her long connection to the Congregation she never considered any other community.

Read more about Sister Marlene (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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