In Memoriam

Sister Ruth Rabideau, OP (Joan Francis)


Sister Ruth Rabideau, formerly known as Sister Joan Francis Rabideau, died on Thursday, March 12, 2020, at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 93 years of age and in the 75th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.

Sister Ruth was born in Unionville, Michigan, to Francis and Josephine (LaFave) Rabideau. Sister graduated from St. Joseph Academy in Adrian and received a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in guidance/counseling, both from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian. 

Sister spent 33 years ministering in education in Munising, Ruth, Detroit, Grosse Pointe Farms, Ypsilanti, Royal Oak, Flint, and Dearborn Heights, Michigan; Chicago, Elgin, and Oak Park, Illinois; and Satellite Beach and West Palm Beach, Florida. She was principal for two years at St. Luke School in Flint and six years at St. Mary School in Elgin. Sister Ruth was a pastoral minister for 19 years in Vero Beach, Stuart, Fort Pierce, and West Palm Beach, Florida. 

Sister Ruth became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in Adrian in 2004. She was preceded in death by her parents; a sister, Vernice Fontaine; and brothers Thomas, Robert, and Richard.  She is survived by a sister, Joan Mendicino (Anthony) of San Antonio, Texas; loving nieces and nephews; and her Adrian Dominican Sisters. 

Due to COVID-19 mitigation protocols, the Dominican Life Center is closed until further notice to all guests or visitors who live outside of Lenawee County. All are welcome to participate in Sister Ruth’s wake and funeral via live stream.

Welcome of Sister Ruth will be on Monday, March 16, 2020, 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. The Reception of the Body and Vigil Prayer will be at 7:00 p.m. in St. Catherine Chapel. The Mass of Christian Burial will be offered in St. Catherine Chapel on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, at 10:30 a.m. The Rite of Committal will be in the Congregation cemetery. 

make a memorial giftMemorial 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.


Vigil for Sister Ruth (Joan Francis):

Download video. Videos will be posted for 4-6 weeks, then removed.


Funeral for Sister Ruth (Joan Francis) 

Funeral Worship Aid (PDF)

Download video. Videos will be posted for 4-6 weeks, then removed.


Left: Sister Ruth Rabideau with her mother. Right: Sister Ruth with her nephews, Danny and Tim, 1954

From left: Sister Ruth Rabideau with her father at SS. Peter and Paul Church. From left, Sisters Joan Francis Rabideau, Charles Annine Fitzmaurice, Michael Bridget Ward, Marlene Winter, and Anale Baustian at St. Mary in Elgin, Illinois. 

From left, Sisters Ruth Rabideau, Mary Ellen Brodeur, and Gloria Kelly in the lobby of Madden Hall, Adrian. From left, Sisters Peg Donohue, Marcella LaKoske, Ruth Rabideau, and Anne Marie Snyder at the Old Casa, West Palm Beach, Florida 

From left: Sister Ruth sits at her desk at St. Joseph Parish in Stuart, Florida, where she served as pastoral minister. Members of the 1995 Golden Jubilee Crowd are: back row, from left, Sisters Catherine Riegel, Helen Walsh, Dolores LaVoy, Alma Marie Messing, Marjorie Ann McEntee, Mary J. Beaubien, and Barbara Hengesbach; second row, from left, Sisters Francis Elizabeth McDonnell and Mary Reilly; third row, from left, Sisters Marie Immaculata Hebestreit, Jean Annette Rudolph, Patricia O’Reilly, Barbara Gass, Gloria Kelly, Joan Murphy, June Marie Howard, and Irene LeDuc; fourth row, from left, Sisters Shirley Ruder, Madeleine Sophie McLeod, Anne Gallagher, Mary Therese Golden, and Christine Hoffman; fifth row, from left, Sisters Connie Kelly, Lois Spear, Margaret Mehigan, Nadine Foley, Marilyn Brown, Margaret Flores, and Adrianna Emery; and front row, from left, Sisters Dorothy Jehle, Joellen Reis, Catherine Henry Schmid, Therese Mary Foote, Mary Ellen Brodeur, Ruth Rabideau, Kathryn Lumbrezer, Mary T. Meegan, and Colette Madden.

Leave your comments and remembrances (if you don't see the comment box below, click on the "Read More" link).

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Avatar  Ann Cook 3 months agoReply

I love Sister Ruth & all the nuns! It’s because of all the nuns that I became a teacher! I graduated from St. Mary’s & St. Ed’s in Elgin & St. Dominic College in St. Charles, IL. If any sisters remember me, please contact me at: —-love to hear from you!

Avatar  Tony Mendicino 4 months agoReply

We will miss Ruth. She was loyal to her vows for 75 years. She was loyal and loving to all her family. God bless you, Ruth.

Cemetery of the Adrian Dominican Sisters

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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