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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I've been thinking of Mrs.Veen, (aka Sr.Agnes Patrick) for close to 60 years. She was my senond grade teacher and I loved her very much. She was very kind to me, I was a child with problems and she held me in her arms more than once while I cried my head off. I'll never forget her and I could never adequately measure the amount of love I bave for her. Thank you God for giving me the chance to know 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.
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