Sister Anne Marie Snyder, formerly known as Sister John Vianney Snyder, died on March 30, 2017, at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 94 years of age and in the 76th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.
Sister Anne Marie was born in Cleveland, Ohio to Frank and Mary (Sadar) Snyder. She graduated from Ursuline Academy in Cleveland and received a Bachelor of Philosophy degree in English, and a Master of Education degree in administration, both from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian. Sister Anne Marie also was a chaplain, certified by the National Association of Catholic Chaplains.
Sister ministered for 31½ years in education in Chicago, Illinois; Cleveland, Toledo, Wickliffe, and Cincinnati, Ohio; and Gilbert, and Casa Grande, Arizona. She was principal for five years at Nativity School in Cleveland. Sister was also a staff member for four years at St. Theresa Home in Cincinnati, Ohio, and four years at Casa Maria Retirement Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Sister Anne Marie was a pastoral-care worker for 12 years at St. Alexis Hospital in Cleveland and a staff member and driver for seven years in the Florida Chapter Office in West Palm Beach.
Sister became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan, in 2001. She is survived by two brothers, Joseph Snyder of Sagamore Hills, and Paul Snyder of Brecksville, and a sister, Jean McGrath of Cleveland, all in Ohio. She was preceded in death by an aunt, Sister Regina Clare Sadar, also an Adrian Dominican.Welcome of Sister Anne Marie will be on Monday, April 3, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. in the Dominican Life Center lobby. The Wake will follow from 6:15 to 7:00 p.m. in the Rose Room of the Dominican Life Center. The Reception of the Body and Vigil Prayer will be at 7:00 pm in St. Catherine Chapel. The Funeral Mass will be offered in St. Catherine Chapel on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. Both the Vigil Prayer and the Funeral will be live streamed. The Rite of Committal will be in the Congregation cemetery.
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Anderson Funeral Home, Adrian.
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Sister Joanne, baptized Helen Susan O’Connor, was born on April 5, 1920, in Chicago. She was the sixth child born to the Irish Catholic family of Daniel and Corinne (Barry) O’Connor. Her father was a graduate of the University of Notre Dame who, after serving in the army during World War I, became a real estate agent and efficiency expert. Her mother was a California native who had studied at the University of California in Berkeley and, according to Joanne, was a gifted artist and poet.
In 1922 everything changed for this young idyllic family when their mother died of pneumonia. In her autobiography, Sister Joanne described how she, her siblings and her father coped with the impact of their mother’s death.
My father’s courage in coping with the dilemma of six youngsters, for whom he had to be both parents, has always filled me with awe and respect. He attempted at first to keep us together by hiring housekeepers. However, none of these satisfied his criteria of child guardians so he decided to place us in Catholic boarding schools. When I was three, my sisters and I began this phase of our lives with [two years at St Angela Academy] in Morris, Illinois; [two years at Immaculate Conception] in Davenport, Iowa; and [two years at St. Mary Academy] in Notre Dame, Indiana. My two brothers were placed in boarding schools as close to us as possible so that my father’s visits could include all six of us. For Christmas and summer vacations, we gathered in a rented house or apartment with a housekeeper to care for us. These times together were precious hours when we learned to know each other and our father in a more normal home environment. Perhaps his dual responsibility caused my father to become quite strict and exacting in his treatment of us, so I learned early that manifestations of love and affection would be found in my siblings rather than in my father. I am certain that this has greatly influenced my life.
Read more about Sister Joanne (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
Sister Donna Wencel, formerly known as Sister Frederick Mary Wencel, died on March 3, 2017 at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 88 years of age and in the 71st year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.
Sister Donna was born in Wayne, Michigan, to Frederick and Martha (Klebba) Wencel. She graduated from St. Joseph Academy in Adrian and received a Bachelor of Home Economics degree from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian and a Master of Arts Education degree in classroom teaching from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant.
Sister Donna ministered for 51 years in elementary education in Chicago, Illinois; Sturgis, Iron River, Ubly, and Ruth, Michigan; Marblehead, Ohio; Des Moines, Iowa; and La Jolla, California. She was principal for five years at St. John School in Ubly.
Sister Donna became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in 2014. She is survived by a grand-nephew, Randy Wencel, of Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Welcome of Sister Donna will be on Monday, March 6, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. in the Dominican Life Center lobby; the Wake will follow from 6:15 to 7:00 p.m. in the Rose Room. The Reception of the Body and Vigil Prayer will be at 7:00 p.m. in St. Catherine Chapel. The Funeral Mass will be offered in St. Catherine Chapel on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. Both the Vigil Prayer and the Funeral will be live streamed. The Rite of Committal will be in the Congregation cemetery.
Sister Diane Erbacher, known also as Sister Mary Carlanne, was born in San Jose, California, on January 29, 1930. She was the oldest of three children born to Charles and Anne (Foltz) Erbacher. Her two younger brothers were Bill and Jimmy, who was born with a genetic chromosome disorder known as Down Syndrome. Her father was born in Covington, Kentucky, and her mother in Spencer, Nebraska.
The family moved several times and, as a result, Sister Diane was educated in several schools: St. Francis School in Baker, Oregon, and St. Mary School in Bedford, Oregon.
When Sister Diane was in the seventh grade at St. Mary, her family moved to Santa Cruz, California, and she finished her elementary and secondary education in Santa Cruz at Holy Cross School. This was her first contact with the Adrian Dominican Sisters, who staffed the grade school and the high school.
During her high school years, Sister Diane also worked at Sisters’ Hospital, located on West Cliff Drive. According Sister Christine Ostrowski, Sister Diane spoke fondly of her days working at the hospital and getting to know the Sisters.
Read more about Sister Diane (pdf)
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.
We will post memorial reflections on our faithfully departed Sisters and Associates. If you would like to reflect on a Sister or Associate who has gone before us, please send your reflections – no more than 500 to 600 words – to
We invite you to meet some of the wonderful women who have recently crossed into eternity.