Barbara Ann (Renton) Charboneau, 85, of Cheboygan, Michigan, died peacefully at home on December 27, 2018. She was born to George and Helen Renton in Detroit on April 18, 1933. She attended St. Joseph Academy in Adrian and Visitation High School in Detroit. Barbara remembered the Academy fondly, especially Sister Marcella Gardner, OP, who taught her the adage, “Once a Dominican, always a Dominican.” Those words resonated throughout her life.
Barbara married Gerald Charboneau Sr. on April 21, 1951. Together, they raised four children.
Barbara was a very active member of St. Mary/St. Charles Catholic Church and Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Cheboygan, serving as a Eucharist minister, sacristan, and lector. She was also active in the Cursillo movement and a member and Past Regent of the Cheboygan Circle of Daughters of Isabella. Barbara attended Mass daily, prayed the Liturgy of the Hours, and enjoyed a silent retreat each year.
Barbara enjoyed visiting with the homebound, being with other people, and spending time with family. She became an Adrian Dominican Associate in 1990, after being mentored by Sister Patricia Janowicz, OP. She was also a good friend of Sister Lucy Ann Quinn, OP.
In the past few years, both Barbara’s husband and son died before her own health began to be of concern.
Barbara is survived by her daughter Nancy (Charboneau) Reiner of Cheboygan, Michigan; sons Richard (Wendy) Charboneau of Essexville, Michigan, and Chris Charboneau of Madison Heights, Michigan; daughter-in-law Celeste Charboneau of Cheboygan, Michigan; grandchildren Dennis (Abby) Reiner, Rebecca (Eric) Lee, Gerald III, Dan, Amy, and Emily Charboneau, and Mandy and Matt (Liz) Charboneau; five great-granddaughters; numerous nieces and nephews; and countless treasured friends.
Barbara was preceded in death by her husband, Gerald; her parents; brother, Donald; and son, Gerald Charboneau Jr.
Barbara’s funeral was celebrated on December 31, 2018, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Online condolences may be made here.
Even as a little girl in her native Ireland, Nora Brady wanted to be in religious life.
But “all I could really do was to dream about it, and pray that one day my dream might come true,” she wrote in her letter to Mother Gerald seeking admittance to the Congregation. And on June 27, 1948, dream finally became reality when Sister Nora arrived in Adrian as a postulant from her adopted home city of Chicago.
Sister Nora was born on November 5, 1925, in County Caven, Ireland, the fifth of Mathias and Annie (Shierdan) Brady’s six children. Five girls (Susan, Mary Ellen, Ann, Bridget, and Nora) and a boy (Hugh) came into the family in all.
Tragedy struck early in Nora’s life when Mathias, a farmer, and Annie died exactly two months apart in 1930, before their youngest daughter had even turned five. Uncle Hugh, who lived with the family, became the children’s guardian.
Read more about Sister Nora (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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Some words to describe Sister Cecilia might be: prayerful, strong faith and commitment, people oriented, high energy, determination, love of people and life, live until you die!
This was how Sister Joanne Peters, Co-Chapter Prioress of the Holy Rosary Mission Chapter, began her eulogy for Sister Cecilia Marie Brown at Cecilia Marie’s Ritual of Remembering on January 15, 2019.
Sister Cecilia Marie was born Barbara Jane Mary Brown in Rockford, Illinois, on November 23, 1923. She was the fourth of six children born to William and Grace (Taylor) Brown. The oldest, Cecilia Marie, was who Barbara Jane took her religious name for when she entered the Congregation. Next came Gordon and Robert; then after Barbara Jane came Marilyn and finally Rosemary.
Barbara Jane attended two Rockford parish schools, St. Patrick School through fifth grade and then St. Peter School for sixth through eighth grade, and then went to Muldoon High School, where she met the Adrian Dominicans. The thought of becoming a sister had long been in her mind, but in her senior year – inspired by her home room teacher Sister Grace Alma Glendenning – she made the decision.
Read more about Sister Cecilia (pdf)
When she died on January 2, 2019, Sister Charles Christine Uhnavy was only six weeks away from a real milestone – her one hundred and second birthday.
Eunice Uhnavy was born on February 14, 1917, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Charles and Olive (Spitzig) Uhnavy. Charles was born in the U.S. to German immigrant parents, while Olive was born in Ontario, Canada.
Charles learned how to be a tailor from his father, who owned a business called The House of Fashions, and he took over the business when his father died. In her life story, Sister Charles Christine remembered her dad as a very good tailor who specialized in women’s clothing and especially liked to work on furs. She also recalled that he once made a cassock for Father Charles Coughlin, the noted radio priest who pastored the Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, Michigan, the Uhnavys’ parish.
Charles and Olive had four children in all: Vivian, Eunice, Arlene, and Charles. After Vivian and Eunice were born, the family moved to Detroit, where Arlene was born, and in 1926 they moved to Royal Oak, where Charles came into the family.
Read more about Sister Charles Christine (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.