I am coming to terms with the fact that time is fleeting, and I have tried to give values to the students I have worked with. The values that I hope I have instilled are a love and craving for learning, and an appreciation for books. If I have touched any people to want to do these, I have accomplished my bit in bettering the world.
These words come near the end of the voluminous autobiography written by Sister Patricia DeMay in 2001 as she was ending her full-time ministry at the University of West Alabama in favor of adjunct status. “I have experienced many times, places, people,” she also wrote in that paragraph. “I have taught from grades K-6 and college, have been school principal and school librarian. What more could I ask?”
Sister Patricia was born on May 5, 1931, in Jackson, Michigan, to Cuthbert and Myrtle (Bleicher) DeMay. Cuthbert was a physician in Jackson, while Myrtle had trained as a nurse and met her future husband during her training. The couple married on November 7, 1918, just a few days before the end of World War I, while Cuthbert was serving in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. After their wedding, they lived at Camp McClellan, Alabama, until Cuthbert’s time in the service was up in February 1919.
Three children came into the DeMay family: John in 1919, Mary in 1921, and finally, ten years later, Patricia. Patricia wrote in her autobiography that her parents, with their unusual names, wanted their children to have “common” names, and she was named Patricia Ann and nicknamed Patsy. She hated “Patsy,” she wrote, but the name stuck until she was halfway through high school, when she became “Pat.”
Read more about Sister Pat (PDF)
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.
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It was my privilege to have known Dr. DeMay for may years. We were great friends and colleagues. As the Director of the Julia Tutwiler Library I received her collection of award winning children's books and the collection is a valuable addition of the Library. After she retired to Adrain, I spoke with her on the phone frequently. She was an amazing woman who left an impact on education in this area. Her contribution to the education of teachers will be long remembered. Rest in Peace
Rest In Peace Sister Pat DeMay OP. We sure are going to miss Aunt Pat! She had such a love of children’s literature she enjoyed sharing with us all! Her favorite author was; Laura Ingalls Wilder. I have to say, it was an instant connection between us! On The Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder can’t get any better then that. She always enjoyed hearing my stories of my Mother’s childhood town of Plum City, Wisconsin and our days of playing in Plum Creek! She was a gifted Aunt who enjoyed quilting and sending homemade greeting cards from the DeMay Printing Press. She was a special Sister to us all. God bless her soul. Rest In Peace sweet Aunt Pat!Love, John, Therese, Matt and Johnny and Jess DeMay
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
Sister Barb Kelley (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We invite you to meet some of the wonderful women who have recently crossed into eternity.