Sister John Baptist Dowd, Adrian Dominican, dies at 93

ADRIAN, Mich. — Sister John Baptist Dowd, OP, died June 21. She was 93 years old and was a professed member in the Adrian Dominican Congregation for 75 years.

Visitation was held in the gathering space of St. Catherine Chapel on June 24, followed by vigil prayer. The funeral liturgy was held in the chapel June 25, followed by burial in the congregation’s cemetery, according to a press release from the Dominican sisters.

Sister John Baptist was born in Emmett, Mich., a daughter of John and Mary Agnes Dowd. She was baptized as Mary Madeline.  

She graduated from St. Joseph Academy in Adrian, and received a bachelor’s degree in Latin from Siena Heights College in Adrian. She also received a master’s in education from the University of Detroit.

Sister John Baptist spent 67 years serving in education, including a year in Aiken, S.C., where she taught at St. Mary Help of Christians School from 1963-64. She also worked in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Georgia and Florida.

Sister John Baptist served as principal of a number of schools, including St. Patrick School in Escanaba, Fla., from 1950-53; St. Mary School in Rome, Ga., from 1957-63; and Our Lady of Lourdes School in Melbourne, Fla., from 1964-73.

The life-long educator was a teacher at St. Anastasia School for three years and the religious education coordinator of St. Mark Parish for 26 years in Fort Pierce, Fla.

Sister Dowd became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in Adrian in 1999.

She is survived by two sisters, Sister Margaret Dowd, IHM, of Port Huron, Mich., and Ellen Bates of Carmel Valley, Calif. Sister John Baptist was preceded in death by an aunt, Sister Maurice Dowd, also an Adrian Dominican Sister.

Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 E. Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, MI 49221.