Sister Clara Ann Budenz, formerly known as Dorothy Budenz, died on February 4, 2018, at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 85 years of age and in the 66th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.
Sister Clara Ann was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, to Henry and Clara (Massing) Budenz. She graduated from Lourdes High School in Chicago and received a bachelor’s degree in history from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian and a master’s degree in education from the University of San Francisco.
Sister Clara Ann spent 27 years ministering in elementary education in Detroit, Michigan; Santa Cruz, Oakland, Castro Valley, and Walnut Creek, California; and Las Vegas, Nevada. In California, after teaching for six years at Holy Cross School in Santa Cruz, she was principal for eight years at St. Lawrence O’Toole in Oakland, for one year at Our Lady of Grace in Castro Valley, and for three years at St. Mary in Walnut Creek.
Sister was director of religious education for six years in Aptos and for five years in Fresno. For the Diocese of Fresno, she was Director of Ministries for four years and Vicar for Religious for seven years.
Sister Clara Ann became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in Adrian in 2011. She was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, Henry (Bud), Louis William (Bill), Lawrence (Larry), and Jerome (Jerry) Budenz; and a sister, Mary Kathryn Hart. She is survived by loving nieces and nephews.
Welcome of Sister Clara Ann will be on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. in the Dominican Life Center lobby. The Wake will follow from 6:15 to 7:00 p.m. in the Rose Room of the Dominican Life Center. The Reception of the Body and Vigil Prayer will be at 7:00 p.m. in St. Catherine Chapel. The Funeral Mass will be offered in St. Catherine Chapel on Thursday, February 8, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. Both the Vigil Prayer and the Funeral Mass will be live streamed. The Rite of Committal will be in the Congregation cemetery.
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Anderson-Marry Funeral Home, Adrian.
Left: Sister Clara Ann shakes the hand of President Lyndon B. Johnson at the Las Vegas Convention Center, 1964. Right: Msgr. Myron Cotta and Sister Clara Ann, Diocese of Fresno, California, 2001
Center: With her mother, Clara (Massing) Budenz
Left: Sister Clara Ann cuts the cake for her Silver Jubilee at St. Lawrence O’Toole in Oakland, California. Right: Dorothy Budenz (the future Sister Clara Ann), front and center, with the rest of her family, July 4, 1936
Members of the 2001 Golden Jubilee Class, August Reception, are, back row, from left, Sisters Elisa Joan Doherty, Dolores Slosar, Celine Marie Regan, Judith Ann Lieder, Anne Liam Lees, and Marie Wiedner; middle row, from left, Sisters Thérèse M. Haggerty, Julianne Wolny, Catherine Ahern, Agnes Peplinski, Jeannine Holway, Clara Ann Budenz, and Elizabeth Lynch; and front row, from left, Sisters Marian Edward Guethlein, Nancy Hanna, Dolores Marie Dolan, Mary Daria Herbella, and Rita Brunett.
Leave your comments and remembrances (if you don't see the comment box below, click on the "Read More" link).
She will be missed. I was apart of the St. Lawrence O'Toole students that she taught and mentored. May the perpetual light of God's love shine upon her soul.
I was in high school at Holy Cross when Sister Clara Ann taught first grade there, so before school started she invited me to come and help her with bulletin boards. I was happy to do so. by the time I was a Senior, I would put up the background paper in every one of the eight classrooms. I entered and went out on Mission to St. Louis Bertrand in Oakland and was assigned 1st grade. A rumor got around that I had all of the "experience" doing bulletin boards when in fact all I knew was how to put up the background paper. It took a bit of time but I finally convinced my teaching partner that I NEEDED HELP!
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.