In Memoriam

Sister Ruth Rabideau, OP (Joan Francis)


The fertile farm territory of Michigan’s “Thumb” region was for many years also fertile in a very different way for the Adrian Dominican Sisters: as a source of vocations.

One of the many young women to enter the Congregation from the Thumb was Ruth Rabideau, who was born in Unionville, a small town located near Gagetown, which was the site of St. Agatha Parish where the Adrian Dominicans taught. Ruth was known to often refer to St. Agatha’s as “the cathedral in a cornfield.”

Born on October 1, 1926, Ruth was the fifth of six children of Francis and Josephine (LaFave) Rabideau. Her siblings were Vernice, Thomas, Robert, Richard, and Joan. The family lived in a large farmhouse along with Francis’ parents, and at times, especially during the Great Depression, aunts and uncles lived there as well. “This all seemed very natural to me since everyone was accepted and loved as an important member of the family,” she wrote in her life story. “It was my first experience of true community living.”

Rural life gave Ruth and her brothers and sisters plenty of places to play and make new discoveries. Summers were times to visit aunts and uncles who lived in other parts of the state and to go with them to the Detroit Zoo, Greenfield Village, and Detroit Tigers baseball games.

Read more about Sister Ruth (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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Avatar  Ann Cook 3 years agoReply

I love Sister Ruth & all the nuns! It’s because of all the nuns that I became a teacher! I graduated from St. Mary’s & St. Ed’s in Elgin & St. Dominic College in St. Charles, IL. If any sisters remember me, please contact me at: —-love to hear from you!

Avatar  Tony Mendicino 3 years agoReply

We will miss Ruth. She was loyal to her vows for 75 years. She was loyal and loving to all her family. God bless you, Ruth.

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