In Memoriam


(1939-2018)

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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(1939-2018)

Janet Huvaere was born to Leon and Mary Huvaere on October 11, 1938 in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. She attended St. Ambrose School and graduated from St. Ambrose High School.

When she was a teen, Janet suffered the loss of her only sibling, Shirley, who died at 21 of a heart aliment. This loss had a profound effect on Janet.

After high school, Janet worked at Bon Secours Hospital before entering the Adrian Dominican Congregation. After two years, she left the Congregation and finished her degree at Siena Heights College (now University) in 1961.

Soon thereafter, Janet was hired by St. Jude School in Detroit, where she taught third, fifth, and sixth grades for 39 years. She retired from teaching in 2000, but kept in contact with several former students and attended reunions. At her wake and funeral, several of her former students remembered her as a kind, gentle, yet demanding teacher.

After teaching, Janet served as a secretary to St. Francis Parish in New Haven, Michigan, from which she retired eight years ago.

Janet was never far from her Adrian Dominican roots. She enthusiastically joined Associate Life in 1992, and has participated in the Reaching Out Mission Group ever since. She attended Assemblies and gathered with Associates each month at the Roseville Book Club.

A very generous woman, Jan dedicated her entire life to the Church through her teaching and volunteering, assisting whenever needed. She loved to read, do puzzles and organize. Although she never married nor had children, she was a beloved member of several families.

On the occasion of Janet’s retirement, Senator Edward Spencer Abraham (R-Mich.) read the following tribute into the U.S. Congressional Record, Volume 146, Part 6 from May 10-23, 2000: “Ms. Huvaere has been a constant source of light for her students as well as the staff at St. Jude’s School. Her dedication to her students is only surpassed by the love of her family. One of her greatest memories was when her father, who was ill at the time, was able to participate in the celebration of her 25th anniversary at St. Jude’s. Ms Huvaere has been a role model for children in her 39 years of teaching.”

Janet died unexpectedly but peacefully on July 6, 2018 in her home. She now rests with her beloved parents and her sister.

Janet’s funeral was celebrated on July 13, 2018 at St. Isidore Parish in Macomb, Michigan, due to the remodeling of her home parish of St. Louis in Clinton Township. Her pastor, Father Lawrence (Larry) Pettke of St. Louis Parish, was the con-celebrant. Members of her Mission Group were present, as well as several other Sisters and Associates. True to form, Jan had chosen the readings and hymns for her funeral. Her choices reflected her faith and her love for God. Father Ronald Victor, the homilist, spoke of her gentleness, her advocacy for children, and her many dedicated years of service to the Church. During the Presentation of the Gifts, family and friends brought forward symbols of Jan’s life, including a small blackboard, a book, an angel, and the Adrian Dominican logo.

 


(1939-2018)

Elizabeth Gael O’Reilly was born to Elizabeth and Frank O’Reilly in Vancouver, British Columbia and moved with her family to Seattle when she was nine years old. There, Gael and her sister Sharon attended Sacred Heart School and Holy Names Academy. Gael graduated in 1957 and maintained life-long relationships with several of her classmates.

Gael married in 1959 and had four children in six years. She sent them to Blessed Sacrament School and was very active in the parish. Gael raised her children to think for themselves and to value one another. A feminist, Gael was a strong advocate for peace and justice.

After her divorce, Gael secured employment at a Seattle credit union and advanced to loan officer, lending manager, and manager of two banks. She retired in 2004.

For many years Gael was active with the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center (IPJC) and the Edmonds Dominicans, who founded the Center. She hosted a book club and Soup Group and was famous for her sense of humor, hospitality, and over-the-top Christmas decorations and kindness. She was an active person in every way until she began to show signs of Alzheimer’s disease, which she lived with for almost five years.

Sister Ann Marie Wood, OP, shared the following:

Gael and I met half a century ago. We were both young mothers and active members of Blessed Sacrament, the Dominican parish in North Seattle at a time when the Dominicans embraced the Vatican II changes with openness and creativity. It was an incredible, hope-filled time as our faith community celebrated a renewed church.

While an Edmonds Dominican I became involved with the Associate Program and was delighted when Gael expressed an interest. She participated in many activities at Rosary Heights, our Motherhouse, and, after the Edmonds/Adrian merger joined the Siena Mission Group, the same one I belong to. Gael served as RAL [Representative of Associate Life] until her declining health forced her to resign. Gael was a Dominican through and through!

Gael is survived by her four children: Mark (Lara) Simmons, Eric (Katie) Simmons, Carrie Simmons, and Pat Simmons; her beloved grandchildren, Audrey, Andrew, Daniel, Owen, Jack, and Ava; and her dear sister, Sharon.

When the Edmonds Dominican Sisters merged with Adrian Dominican Sisters, Gael wrote that she looked forward to meeting new people. “I bring a questioning mind, a sense of humor, compassion and tolerance, a wish to be mentally and spiritually expanded (not physically expanded, however), and a humble and inquiring mind.”

Gael’s children wrote in a memorial booklet for their mother: “Mom made sure that we could do and be whatever we wanted. As a single parent of four, she worked very hard to give us the best life she could. She was a lifelong advocate for peace and justice and fought for the poor in Washington State with the Adrian Dominican Sisters. She was a great listener and friend and always offered wise advice.”

Her children concluded their memories by saying, “Mom, we will miss you every day and will be seeing you in the butterflies and little birdies in the trees. And yes, we will remember to vote and to get our flu shots.”

Gael’s funeral, held June 25, 2018 at Sacred Heart Parish, celebrated her family, her interests and her spirituality. She will be missed.

 

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(1930-2018)

Josephine (Jo) Christine Rhoads led a very full life, dedicated to service. She grew up in Royal Oak, Michigan, where she attended parochial school and completed her secondary education in a public high school. She studied gerontology in college and dedicated her entire career to serving elderly people, both in her parish and the wider community.

For many years, Jo was the office manager in a senior citizen high rise in Troy and Rochester, Michigan. Jo established Medigo, a service to provide rides to seniors to medical appointments and other obligations, first through private rides provided by volunteers, then through a system of vans and buses. On an average day, this service provides rides to 40 people. In 1998, Jo was named Troy’s Distinguished Citizen of the Year.

Jo served as a hospice volunteer for many years at Troy Beaumont Hospital and learned how to provide spiritual comfort to patients and their families.

She was also very involved her parish, St. Anastasia in Troy, as a lector, catechist, and Eucharistic Minister, and in Christian service and pastoral care. She was instrumental in forming several parish groups that reached out to those who were grieving, who had a family member in the hospital, or who were homeless. In her 2001 Annals, Jo wrote that she had been involved in 52 community action groups and parish ministries. She had an attraction to all peace and justice activities.

Jo was most of all a dedicated wife and mother. Married for more than 50 years, she and Jerry raised three children: Mark, Kevin and Lisa. She provided care for her mother-in-law, her mother, and her husband. Jo and Jerry were blessed with three grandchildren: Allison, Erin and Alexander. After Jerry died, Jo continued to reach out to others in need.

As a teen, Jo had felt called to religious life, but her grandmother talked her out of it. Many years later, when Jo learned of Associate Life, she was eager to make a commitment to the Adrian Dominican Sisters as an Associate. In her application, Jo wrote, “I wish to be an Associate because as I read the Mission Statement it expressed the way I can expand my prayer life and my womanhood to the service of my beloved God and to my community, family, and hopefully to my Dominican Family.” Jo was mentored by Sister Mary Katherine Allberry and celebrated her Ritual of Acceptance in May 2000.

Jo participated in the Peacemakers Mission Group and was a Representative of Associate Life (RAL) for several years. She remained engaged in the Mission and kept reaching out to others in need until her own health declined. The last few years of her life included the heartbreak of memory loss.

Jo died peacefully on June 19, 2018. Her funeral Mass was attended by her parish family, her own family, community members, and Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates. She lived a life of passion and service to others. May she now rest in peace.

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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. 


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.

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