In Memoriam


(1935-2021)

Sister Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Gaiss, formerly known as Sister Andrew Joseph, died on Saturday, October 16, 2021, at the Dominican Life Center, Adrian, Michigan. She was 85 years of age and in the 60th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.

Sister Mary Elizabeth was born in Corning, New York, to Norbert and Leona (Aug) Gaiss. She graduated from Painted Post High School in Painted Post, New York, and received a bachelor’s degree in mixed science from Teachers College in Albany, New York; a master’s degree in chemistry from Catholic University in Washington, D.C.; and a master’s degree in philosophy from St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Sister Mary Elizabeth spent 11 years ministering in elementary and secondary education in Joliet, Illinois, and Detroit, St. Joseph, and Lansing, Michigan. She was a college professor for 15½ years at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mott Community College in Flint and Lansing Community College in Lansing. She also served for 10½ years as Coordinator of Health Affairs for the Diocese of Lansing and was Pastoral Associate for 11 years at St. Michael Parish in Grand Ledge, Michigan. 

Sister Mary Elizabeth became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in Adrian in 2018. She was preceded in death by her parents and is survived by a loving cousin, Joe Bowers of Baltimore, Maryland, and her Adrian Dominican Sisters. 

Due to COVID-19 mitigation protocols, the Dominican Life Center is closed to all guests or visitors until further notice. All are welcome to participate in Sister’s wake and funeral via live stream

The Vigil Prayer will be held at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 20, 2021, in St. Catherine Chapel. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered in St. Catherine Chapel at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, October 21, 2021. 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)

Funeral for Sister Betty

Worship Aid (PDF)


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

 

Center: First Holy Communion

Left: Sister Mary Elizabeth’s parents, Norbert and Leona Gaiss. Center: Mary Elizabeth kneels before the bishop to receive her religious name, Sister Andrew Joseph Gaiss. Right: Graduation photo from Painted Post High School, Painted Post, New York

Right: Members of the Prism Mission Group are: back row, standing in the middle, Sisters Patricia Fischer and Barbara Matievich; row two, from left, Sister Carol Weber and Associates Elaine Woods and Geri Pleva; row three, from left, Sisters Ann Marie Petri, Mary Elizabeth Gaiss, Anne Cenci, Julianne Wolny, and Associate Marguerite Lawler; and front row, from left, Sisters Mildred Ann Huber and Diane Pitera. 

Members of the 2010 Golden Jubilee June 1960 Crowd are: back row, from left, Sisters Patricia Fischer, Joann Plumpe, Barbara Jean Quincey, Joanne Wimmer, Anita Chiappetta, June Mary Deswysen, and Mary Helen Smolbrook; middle row, from left, Sisters Diane Pitera, Patricia Benson, Joanne Peters, Mary Katherine Homan, Grace Gianella, Kathleen Erard, Catherine Ormond Olds, and Helen Faiver; and front row, from left, Sisters Mary Elizabeth Gaiss, Joan Lawrence Sustersic, Juliann Flynn, Susan Marie Ouwerkerk, Maryetta Churches, Janet Marie Fulgenzi, Patricia Erickson, and Donna Markham (Prioress). Not pictured is Sister Ann Rena Shinkey.

 

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(1934-2021)

February 14, 1934, was a special day in the small town of Winslow, Arizona, for three reasons: it was Valentine’s Day, it was the twenty-second anniversary of Arizona statehood, and it was the day Joseph and Lillian (Bueter) Wetzel welcomed their first child, Frances.

Joseph was born in Monroe, Louisiana, while Lillian was a native of Charlestown, Indiana. The couple met in Winslow and married in 1932, and in time three children came into the family: Frances, Betty, and Joe. Joseph was a postal carrier and on occasion allowed Frances to ride along when he delivered mail to the nearby Navajo reservation so she could play with some of the children as he made his rounds.

“Growing up in a small town is the best way to experience childhood,” Sister Frances wrote in her life story. “When the nation was going through war and depression, the whole town pulled together and looked after each other. Everybody knew everybody. This is where I developed my fondness for the Navajo people.”

She first came to know the Adrian Dominican Sisters in 1939, when Sister Mary Luke Kinstle and three other sisters arrived in Winslow to open a catechetical center. The Sisters also provided a kindergarten and music lessons, and although Frances was old enough for first grade her mother enrolled her in the kindergarten so as to help the Sisters financially.

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.

 

Sister's Prayer Card (PDF)

Vigil for Sister Frances

Worship Aid (PDF)


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

 

 

Funeral for Sister Frances

Worship Aid (PDF)


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

 

Leave your comments and remembrances (if you don't see the comment box below, click on the "Read More" link).

 


(1931-2021)

My siblings were James, who was the smartest (he spoke five languages); Charlie, who was the best looking; Mary, who was the kindest; Virginia who was most athletic; and Thomas who was the most affectionate. I was considered the most congenial.

This was how Sister Marion O’Loughlin described James and Marion Florence O’Loughlin’s six children, of whom she was the fifth, in her life story.

Sister Marion was born on January 11, 1931, and was baptized Elizabeth Ray. In an autobiography she wrote for an Edmonds Dominican publication (Spring 2003), she wrote that she was happy to learn that Elizabeth meant “Gift of God,” and “[m]ore than once I told my three brothers and two sisters not to forget it.”

The family moved to Redwood City, California, when Elizabeth was nine months old. She attended public school for her elementary years and then went to Notre Dame High School in Belmont, California.

Although she liked the Notre Dame Sisters who were her teachers, she was not inspired to join them. Her call to religious life would come from a different direction.

Read more about Sister Marion (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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(1944-2021)

Associate Kathleen Unti gave much of her time, love, and energy to people in her family, her community, and the hospices where she volunteered. 

Kathy was born on July 7, 1944, in Detroit, the youngest child of William and Frances (Brinker) McCarty. She joined her sister Patricia and her brother William. Kathy attended St. Matthew School and Dominican High School, where she met the Adrian Dominican Sisters. By the time she was in high school, Pat had entered the Congregation. 

A student at the University of Detroit, Kathy married Walt Unti. They moved to Ann Arbor, where she began a career as a dental hygienist. Walt and Kathy had three children, now married with families of their own: Patricia (Robert) Healy, Michael (Evangeline), and Susan Yingling. Kathy and Walt are blessed with seven grandchildren. 

As their children were growing up, the family moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where Kathy enrolled at Aquinas College. She graduated in 1985 and established a real estate firm there. She led a busy life of family, work, and faith.

Kathy was called to the vocation of hospice volunteer. She volunteered at hospices for the next 35 years: in Sonoma, California, where she also volunteered as a docent and took fifth-graders on hikes in the mountains; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Easton, Maryland. 

Kathy was especially close to her sister, supporting and comforting her during treatments for cancer in 1998. This strengthened the bonds between the sisters.

Called to the Dominican charism, Kathy joined Associate Life on July 7, 2006, mentored by María Romero, OP. She loved being part of this group and faithfully submitted her annals. She shared her compassion through hospice and in any way she was needed. Kathy was a lifelong learner, interested in many things. She gave generously of her time and talent. 

The past few years have been very challenging for Kathy and her family. Her son-in-law Craig Yingling died in 2019. She fought cancer herself while being concerned with the health of her sister Pat, who died in 2021. Even though Kathy and Walt lived in Maryland, her funeral took place at the Blessed Solanus Casey Center in Detroit. May she rest in peace.

View Kathleen's obituary.

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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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