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Sister Thaddeus Kowalinski


Kowalinski, OP, Sister Thaddeus of Grand Rapids (born Emily Michaelina Kowalinski) died on September 6, 2019. She was 90 years old and a Dominican Sister for 71 years. Sister Thaddeus completed her undergraduate education at Aquinas College, majoring in both History and English. She earned a master’s degree at the University of Michigan with a major in the Latin language.  Sister Thaddeus was a teacher and often principal at the following schools: SS. Peter and Paul, Saginaw; St. Thomas, Grand Rapids; Our Lady, Chesaning; Sacred Heart, Mount Pleasant; St. Joseph’s, Bay City; and St. Mary’s, Gaylord. She taught at the high school level, usually Latin and English. From 1972 to 1976 she was a member of the General Council for the Congregation.  Sister Thaddeus will be remembered for her ready smile and wonderful balance in her life. Ever the knowledgeable academic, she also used her gifts in the homey arts of sewing, cooking, and baking for the pleasure and service of others. Affable and adventurous, she was never one to pass up an opportunity to go on a picnic, take a walk or enjoy a day of fun with friends.  Besides feeding the bodies and minds of others, Sister Thaddeus also nurtured their souls. Her calmness and strength struck one at even a casual encounter. Her deep faith, her gracious goodness, her prayerful concern was poured out on her family, her Sisters, her students, and others with whom she came into contact. “Each day has brought new experiences and each year new challenges. I give thanks for each day, each year,” was Sister’s own comment on her life.  Sister Thaddeus is survived by her sister Delores Ann Dautremont (Joe) of Silver City, New Mexico; nieces, nephews, friends and a loving community.  Sister Thaddeus will repose at Dominican Chapel/Marywood, 2025 Fulton Street East, with visitation on Sunday, September 8 from 6:00-7:00 pm followed by a Remembering Service at 7:00 pm.  A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Monday, September 9 at 11:00 am at Dominican Chapel/Marywood. Burial will be at Resurrection Cemetery. Memorials in Sister Thaddeus Kowalinaki’s name may be made to the Grand Rapids Dominican Sisters.

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One Response

  1. I always believed that Sr. Thaddeus was our guardian angel at Sacred Heart keeping our Catholic faith first in our school. She was a good friend and great teacher for our boys. She also helped our daughter when she had to write a lesson plan for an English unit for college even though she did not have our daughter as a student. We retired teachers will always remember seeing Sr. Thaddeus sitting in her wheelchair with her beautiful smile waving goodbye in the parking lot after our visit at Marywood. My husband and I say the prayer/blessing she gave me at the close of our visit.

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