In Memoriam


Mary Margaret (Roy-McLernon) Randall Veen, 78, passed away October 1, 2018, at her home in Cheboygan, Michigan, after courageously battling cancer this past year.

Mary was born in Port Huron, Michigan, but grew up in Detroit, attending Our Lady Gate of Heaven Elementary School. “I learned early in life the importance of keeping Christ in my life,” Mary wrote. “I learned to depend on Jesus and myself to achieve my goals.”

Mary entered the Adrian Dominican Congregation in 1957 after graduating from Our Lady of Mercy High School and took her final vows in 1963. She attended Siena Heights College (now University), Adrian; Wayne State University, Detroit; and St. Mary Seminary, Orchard Lake, Michigan. 

“I have always been an Adrian Dominican in my heart even though I left the formal structure,” Mary said. “What I learned in Adrian has been carried out through teaching my students, working with others through volunteer work, and service to others wherever and whenever I was asked or saw a need. I may have left Adrian; the Dominicans never left me.”

Always an educator, Mary retired in 2003 and moved to Cheboygan with her new husband, Ward Veen. She continued teaching part-time at Bishop Baraga School, Cheboygan, until 2017. 

Mary enjoyed her volunteer work as a Bible study and prayer leader and a catechist at her parish, St. Mary/St. Charles Catholic Church in Cheboygan; at the St. Thomas Food Pantry; and at the Eagles Auxiliary, where she served as Chaplain. She was also installed as a presider at Communion Services and ministered at other parishes near Cheboygan.  

Mary was mentored by Associate Joyce Frugé and welcomed as an Associate in August 2016. Although she was not an Associate for long, her commitment was strong and she managed to travel from Cheboygan to Adrian to attend Partners, the annual weekend gathering of Associates, in August 2018. She participated in the weekend and made several new friends.

Mary was the loving mother of Kelley Anne Cashion; step-mother of David Veen and Diane Veen-Price; sister of George P. (Carol) Roy, Carol (Tom) Saunders, Theresa Swift, Karen (Peter) Tambornini, and Phillip Jingozian; grandmother to Dylan Doyle, Alexis Cashion, and Gary (Maria) Veen; and great-grandmother to Dayton Doyle. She had many nieces, nephews, friends, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren through her marriage to Ward.

She was preceded in death by the love of her life, Ward Walter Veen, in 2012; her parents, George and Lois Roy and Malcom and Mary Jingozian; her foster parents, Ivan and Agnes McLernon and Anna Swift; and her brother, Michael Swift.

Mary’s Memorial Mass was held at St. Mary/St. Charles Catholic Church on October 6 after a one-hour visitation. Father Duane Wachowiak, Pastor, officiated. Mary chose the songs and readings to comfort her family and friends. The readings included John 14:1-6: “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

In lieu of flowers, Mary’s wishes are that backpacks filled with school supplies be donated to the local schools. Any monetary contributions may be directed to Bishop Baraga School, 623 W. Lincoln Avenue, Cheboygan, Michigan 49721 or the Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 E. Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan 49221.

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This gentle, quiet Dominican Preacher of Adrian did not need the pulpit any more to preach the word of God. She preached it by the way she lived. She knew about the Sower and the seed. She carefully tilled her soil and taught others to do the same.

These words, spoken by Sister Maria Goretti Browne in her funeral homily for Sister Virginia O’Reilly, centered on the parable of the sower and the seed that was the Mass’s Gospel reading. It described a woman whose ministries moved from teacher to clinical psychologist to Director of Studies for the Congregation – and much more.

Sister Virginia was born in Detroit to George and Alice (Hall) O’Reilly on April 28, 1927. Both George and Alice were the descendants of Irish immigrants, and George was born in Montana while Alice was born in Quebec. Both the O’Reilly and Hall families eventually made their way to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, where George and Alice met as high school classmates.

Read more about Sister Virginia (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).


When a Sister from Dominican High School dies, I generally post it on Facebook so former students are aware, and a lot of times they respond. When I posted that SMEB (they called her that because she signed her hall passes SMEB for Sister Mary Ellen Brodeur) had entered eternal life, many students responded to my post. One of the things they wrote over and over was “Great teacher! RIH SMEB.” At first, I thought that was a typo but then it kept appearing over and over and finally, one of the students wrote, “Rest in Heaven, SMEB.” I like that. To me, it signified their confidence that she had indeed gone to her eternal reward and now rests peacefully with the God who created her.

These words were part of the remembrance of Sister Mary Ellen Brodeur that Sister Mariane Fahlman shared at Mary Ellen’s wake on September 16, 2018. Sister Mary Ellen taught at Dominican High School in Detroit for twenty-nine years, capping off a teaching ministry that spanned a half-century.

Sister Mary Ellen was born on June 10, 1928, in Detroit to Edward Joseph and Anna Marie (Ternes) Brodeur. Edward, who was born in Hancock, Michigan, was a foreman at the Packard Motor Car Company, while Anna, a native of New York City, was a homemaker. The family lived down the street from Guardian Angels Church, and the children all attended the parish grade school. Sister Mary Ellen, the second oldest child, was the only girl in the family; she had four brothers: Donald, the eldest; Bob, Norm, and Charles.

Read more about Sister Mary Ellen (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).



Some people come into your life and make you a better person. That was Sister Jean.

She had a gift for reading people, and discerning their strengths and talents. Then with a warm smile and a gentle rub on the back she could get you to agree to any task. That was her magic. You never said no.

These words began one of the many written messages and in-person remembrances shared at the wake service for Sister Jean Rosaria Fisch. They were written by Lisa Martone, who had been a student at St. Rose of Lima School in Miami Shores, Florida, during Sister Jean’s time there as elementary principal.

Sister Jean was born Rita Mae Fisch on May 24, 1932, in Appleton, Wisconsin, to Ervin and Helen (Umland) Fisch. She was the couple’s only child; when Rita was eighteen months old, Helen died of tuberculosis. Ervin sent Rita to live with her maternal grandparents until he remarried; his second wife, Iva, was his business partner in an appliance and furniture store in Appleton.

Read more about Sister Jean Rosaria (PDF)

make a memorial gift

Memorial 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. 

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.


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