Joyce Frugé, the first of the three children of Roy and Beatrice Grundy, was born on July 3, 1932, in Wyandotte, Michigan. She attended Our Lady of Lourdes grade school and high school.
Joyce was an Adrian Dominican Sister for 25 years, entering the Congregation in 1950 and known by her religious name, Sister Clement Marie. She taught in Chicago; Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan; and at St. Theresa in Detroit.
Joyce earned a bachelor’s degree from Siena Heights College (University), in Adrian; a master’s degree from DePaul University; and a master’s in education and Montessori certification from Xavier University.
Joyce was an expert on the Montessori method. She opened the Montessori Children’s House at St. Theresa School in Detroit and, from 1993 to 2004, served as program director for the Michigan Montessori Teacher Education Center. In 2004 she started a Montessori program on Mackinac Island, where she lived with her beloved husband, Derby, for a year. In her retirement, she was involved in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, a religious education program for children.
Joyce and Derby Frugé were married for 31 years, from 1978 until his death in 2009. Derby was a widower with six children when he met Joyce, so Joyce was a stepmother, a grandmother of 10, and a great grandmother.
After Derby’s death, Joyce began to search for connectedness. She sought Associate Life and reconnected with many Sisters she knew from when she entered. Sister Janet Wright, OP, was Joyce’s mentor and dear friend.
Joyce attended Chapter Assemblies, the annual Partners gatherings of Associates, weekly prayer group meetings, and monthly meetings of the Great Lakes Associates group. Joyce participated enthusiastically in Associate Life projects, such as signing Christmas cards, and was helping to plan Partners V. She loved to read, pray, and walk, and approached life with enthusiasm and vitality.
Joyce died on January 7 after a brief illness. She will be missed by many.
Joyce’s life was celebrated on January 14. Our Lady of Loretto Church in Redford, Michigan, was packed with family, friends, Sisters and Associates. Father Richard Welsh, a long-time friend of Joyce’s, was overwhelmed and shared his tears and his wisdom. He reminded us that Jesus said, “I am the Resurrection and the Life” and “Joyce’s presence should rise within us so we can continue her good works.
During the luncheon, people shared stories of Joyce. Her stepdaughters, Martine and Cynthia, and Cynthia’s son Victor spoke of how Joyce always made sure they visited museums and points of interest in Detroit. Women still being mentored by Joyce in the Montessori Method, noted that she was meeting with them monthly. Others spoke of her involvement in her parish and how she was still a catechist, twice a week at Gesu Parish, sharing her amazing talents with little ones. At one table were men and women who have been friends with Joyce since they all attended Catholic grade school together many years ago. Joyce had many circles of friends and it was a true celebration.
Janet Wright, OP, mentor and dearest friend, spoke of Joyce’s final moments on earth. Joyce knew she was dying and said, Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” In those words, Joyce, until her final moments, demonstrated a deep spirituality and the gift of sharing it with everyone.
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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I am so saddened to hear of Joyce's death. We met at two annual Partners' events and she became my prayer partner. Her spirit of joyfulness was infectious and her passing is a loss to all of us who knew her.
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.