Mary Honora Hemmen was born in Detroit on December 8, 1936, to Raymond and Ada (Noon) Hemmen. Raymond was born and raised in Detroit and Ada came from Jackson, Michigan. They married when they were older and had two children, Mary and Lawrence. Raymond was a clerk at the Michigan Central railroad terminal in southeast Detroit for fifty-three years.
According to Sister Mary’s autobiography, her parents named her Mary because she was born on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception; it was easy for her to remember her birthday, she said, and she always had the day off from school.
The family lived on the east side of the city, on McKinney Street, and was part of St. Matthew Parish, where the children attended grade school. Ada died of cancer when Mary was nine and Lawrence was seven. Aunts and other helpers were present throughout Ada’s illness, and a maternal aunt especially helped in the children’s care after their mother’s passing; she lived on a farm near Jackson, and the children often spent their summers on Aunt Mary’s farm where they were surrounded by numerous cousins from around the area.
Read more about Sister Mary (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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Carol Williams, MD, an Adrian Dominican Associate since November 2007, died on January 22, 2018, after a short convalescence. She was the second of two children, born on September 13, 1931 to Frances and Daniel Williams. Carol and her brother Dan grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Carol attended an all-girls prep high school, where she was the valedictorian of her class.
Carol’s father, a general practitioner of medicine, became ill with tuberculosis when Carol was in the eighth grade, and subsequently died while she was a senior in high school. Her mother was a reporter for The Chattanooga Times, and eventually became the editor of the society section of the paper.
Carol attended Vanderbilt University for two years, then transferred to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and graduated with a degree in chemistry. She graduated in 1955 from the Tennessee College of Medicine.
Carol’s accomplishments as a physician were many, including a fellowship in obstetrics-gynecology and gynecologic oncology at Barnes and Allied Hospitals/Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. She became head of a residency program and subsequently chief of the department at St. Luke’s Hospital in St. Louis.
In 1975, Carol went into a solo private practice, and was a most beloved doctor. She closed her practice in 1991 and was engaged in delivering and coordinating women’s health care in community and public health settings. From the early 1980’s, she also served in pediatric and adolescent gynecology at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital and St. Louis University. Carol was the first woman President of the St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Society and, in 1992, served as the President of the Missouri State Medical Association.
Carol was married for 20 years to a pediatrician. Early in the marriage she developed breast cancer. Her marriage ended, and an annulment was granted. She had no children.
Carol began her spiritual life as a Southern Baptist, and began daily Bible reading. After being a member of the Episcopal Church, she became a Catholic in 1981. She served on the board of the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, where she earned a master’s degree in theology and certificates in pastoral care, spiritual direction, and preaching. For years, she was an Associate with the Racine Dominican Sisters.
Carol ultimately made her commitment to Adrian Dominican Associate Life on November 27, 2007, mentored by Sisters Patricia Walter, OP and Peggy Coyne, OP.
In her application for Associate Life, Carol wrote the following: “These years as a Catholic have seen the gradual release from the fear of engagement with one’s life issues and the attendant risk of hurt. In spiritual direction the unresolved, unrepented, unforgiven relationships and injuries sustained through seventy five years of living have yielded to the light of God’s care and mercy in Christ in the power of the Spirit. I am grateful to the Lord of the Journey for rescuing me from the trash heap to which I tried to consign myself and bringing me into healing communion with God’s people.”
Carol was very devoted to her Sojourner group in St. Louis – made up of Adrian Dominican Associates – and formed close relationships with both Associates and Sisters. She continued to be present to those who were in crisis with illness and dying.
Carol is preceded in death by her parents and survived by her brother Daniel (Joan) Williams, Jr.; nephew Chris (Terri) Williams and their son Stone Williams; and nephew William Hedrick.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, January 26, 2018, at St. Francis Xavier College Church in St. Louis. Visitation will be at 9:00 a.m. until the Mass at 10:00 a.m. Burial will be during a private service held at a later date in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Patricia Craft was born on August 15, 1940, in Elgin, Illinois. She was the daughter of Ruth Eleanor Nelson Miller and Francis Joseph Miller. She had one sister, Sister Joella Miller, OP.
The Miller family moved often when Pat was young, to Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois. Both parents were very devout Catholics. Very close siblings, Pat and Joella used to play church together, using Necco Wafers as “hosts.” When Sister Joella entered the Adrian Dominican Congregation, Pat missed her very much.
Pat met her husband, Richard (Dick), in college and described him as her “knight in shining armor.” They were married in St. Laurence Church in Elgin on September 17, 1960, and had six children: Mary Sue, Ricky, Joe, Billy, Christopher, and David. They also had 14 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Dedicated to her family, Pat was fulfilled through her marriage and her children. She made sure that they attended Mass and prayed at every meal.
Pat wrote that she chose to become an Associate because of her desire to “grow in my spiritual life and to become closer to God. I wish to be part of the Dominican family in a new and special way.” Pat was friendly and always eager to serve.
“I feel like I have been associated with the Adrian Dominican Sisters for over 50 years,” Pat said during her Ritual of Commitment. “I want to be an Associate as I have so many caring and loving friends that are Dominicans. I want to feel the joy of God’s love that they all share. I want to share my love of God with everyone I come into contact with.”
Pat had to endure the death of her youngest child, David, on August 24, 2014. This was a very difficult time for her.
Pat was a breast cancer survivor, but a recurrence of cancer led to her death on January 10, 2018.
Doris Marie Beach was born on February 2, 1920, to Samuel and Freda Beach. She and her three brothers grew up on a farm in southwestern Michigan. She attended a one-room schoolhouse and then a small high school in Edwardsburg, Michigan, graduating with a class of 17.
Doris graduated from the Henry Ford Hospital School of Nursing in 1951. She then had a long career as a staff nurse, head nurse, Assistant Director of Nursing, and Medical-Surgical Psychiatric Supervisor.
For many years, Doris shared a home with a nurse friend, who died in 1981. Sister Susan Parker, OP, came to live with Doris as they were both working at the same hospital and had become friends.
Doris cared for both of her parents as they aged and faced illness and death. One of her brothers died in a motorcycle accident at age 17, and Doris’ two other brothers married and had children. She was a most beloved aunt.
Doris had several interests, including reading, gardening, crossword puzzles, and crafts.
Mentored by Sister Marilyn Foster, OP, Doris joined Associate Life on October 20, 2001. Her introduction to the Congregation came through Sister Susan and through a seminar on death and dying, during which she observed the warmth and love that the Sisters showed toward one another and the people they served.
Doris enjoyed the prayer and the gatherings of her Mission Group and Chapter. As an Associate, she hoped to enrich her life “and ultimately become closer to God.” She was also interested in peace and justice issues and was eager to learn about various forms of service. In renewing her commitment to Associate Life, Doris wrote, “I want to be a part of who the Sisters are and what they stand for.”
After retirement, Doris lived six months of the year in Redford, Michigan, and six months in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
She died of respiratory failure after surgery on January 3, 2018, with her niece and Sister Susan by her side.
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.