In Memoriam


(1926-2019)

A music lover, a reader, a puzzle-doer, someone who worked at living simply, and a woman who was faithful to prayer: this was how Sister Jane Irene Hutton was described after her death by Sister Rosemary Asaro, Holy Rosary Chapter Assistant, at Sister Jane Irene’s wake service.

Sister Jane Irene was born Irene Jane Hutton on October 31, 1926, in Chicago to William and Irene (Beck) Hutton. Bill, as he was called, was a Chicago native who worked as a certified public accountant, first for the Chicago World’s Fair and then for the largest bank in the city at the time, the Northern Trust Company.

“I remember how hard he worked and provided for the family. … He would work as a cashier during the day and audit the books after the bank closed,” Sister Jane Irene said in her life story. “He would get home very late each night but I can still see my mother sitting near the window looking for him to be coming up the street so she could have a hot meal ready when he walked in the door.”

Irene, for her part, was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, of French parents who had come to the United States before World War I. She worked as a nurse in a doctor’s office when she first came to Chicago, before she married Bill. “She was a gentle person and a wonderful cook,” Sister Jane Irene said of her mother. “All our meals were great family affairs.”

Read more about Sister Jane Irene (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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(1929-2019)

When Sister Jeanne O’Laughlin transitioned away from the Presidency of Barry University in 1994, she was honored at a celebratory luncheon as “a durable woman who went ahead of us leading the way often through uncharted waters.”

Several memories of Sister Jeanne’s tenure at Barry are found in those luncheon remarks. Found there is a mention of the creative ways in which she got donors to contribute toward a capital project on Barry’s “west forty” acreage – singing a song, accepting a bet regarding learning to ballroom dance – and an accounting of all the people she had helped to get a Barry education, ranging from countless underprivileged students to hundreds of refugees.

In all, Sister Jeanne O’Laughlin spent twenty-three years as Barry’s president. That ministry was part of a long life of service to the field of education as well as to the Congregation itself.

Sister Jeanne was born on May 4, 1929, in Detroit to Thomas Anthony and Mary Margaret (Croak) O’Laughlin. She had very few memories of her mother, who died of complications from childbirth not long after Sister Jeanne turned six years old. Sister Jeanne wrote in her autobiography that she remembered her father taking the children to the hospital and having them stand outside watching the window of the room where her mother was. “I recall the picture vividly of a man holding a woman in his arms as she waved at us,” she wrote. “That was the end of my life with my mother.”

Read more about Sister Jeanne (pdf)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. 

Click here to read the extensive news coverage on Sister Jeanne's death.


 


(1922-2019)

“God has given me the grace of knowing that I want, more than anything else, to be a Sister of St. Dominic. Will you say that I may?”

The seventeen-year-old Mary Elizabeth O’Donnell, later to be known in religion as Sister Marie Joannes, was writing to Mother Gerald Barry on April 30, 1940, expressing her desire to enter the Congregation. At the time, Mary was less than two months away from graduating from Visitation High School in Detroit, and the Adrian Dominican Sisters who staffed the school had surely shaped her dream of religious life.

Mary was born on November 18, 1922, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to Henry and Eva (Leppert) O’Donnell. Henry was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, while Eva was born in New York City. The couple had three children: Mary; Elizabeth, who was born in 1925; and Harry, born in 1928.

It seems that the family came to New York City at some point in 1928, for Mary attended St. Monica’s Parish school there in 1928-29 and was confirmed at the church in March 1929. By the time the 1929-30 school year began, the O’Donnells were in Michigan; Mary attended Visitation School for the rest of her elementary and secondary education. At least at the time she entered the Congregation, the family lived in the Detroit enclave of Highland Park and Henry was working at the Bower Roller Bearing Company factory in Detroit.

Read more about Sister Marie Joannes (pdf)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. 

 

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


(1934-2019)

I came into this world on November 20, 1934. … It was my brother Don’s birthday the next day on the twenty-first of November. My dad told him he had an early birthday present. He was a bit disappointed as he was hoping to get a toy fire engine but instead received this crying baby sister.

So begins the autobiography of Sister Lorraine Pepin, which she subtitled I Have Called You by Name … You Are Mine and ended several pages later with these words from the Magnificat: “My soul magnifies the Lord for he who is mighty has done great things for me.”

Sister Lorraine was born in Escanaba, Michigan, to John Baptist and Edna (Dubord) Pepin. She was the youngest of twelve children – nine boys and three girls – born into the family. “Although it was Depression time my parents must have thought it was cheaper by the dozen,” she wrote.

She grew up surrounded by aunts, uncles and cousins, in what she called a “welcoming and open” home. Her parents were the greatest influences of her life, and it was through their example of strong faith and prayer that she found God at a very young age. Her mother’s commitment to morning prayer and the deep spirituality of her father, and the way they all prayed the rosary together as a family – especially during the war years, she wrote, for four of the boys were in the service – all made a lasting impression upon her.

Read more about Sister Lorraine (pdf)

make a memorial giftMemorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.

 

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


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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