May They Rest in Peace: Sr. Frances Wetzel, OP

Sr. Frances Wetzel, OP, formerly known as Sr. M. Elizabeth Joseph, died on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 87 and in the 67th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.

Sister Frances was born in Winslow, Ariz., to Joseph and Lillian (Bueter) Wetzel. She graduated from St. Vincent Academy in Albuquerque, NM, and received a Bachelor of Philosophy degree in English from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian, and a Master of Education degree in Business Education from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

Sr. Frances Wetzel, OP

Sister Frances spent 22 years ministering in education in Detroit and Owosso, MI; Santa Cruz, CA; and Tucson, AZ, including four years as accountant and elementary teacher at St. Scholastica in Detroit and three years as religious education director and high school teacher at Holy Cross in Santa Cruz. She served as provincial secretary for three years, before being elected co-provincial/administrator of Holy Cross Province in Oakland, CA. Sister ministered for 19 years as an auditor-advocate at the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal in Phoenix, AZ, and as a pastoral minister for two years. Sister Frances was an administrative assistant for six years at the Dominican West Chapter Office. Sister became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in 2021.

Sister was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her brother, Joe Wetzel (Marcia), and her sister, Betty Ann Wetzel, loving nieces and nephews and her Adrian Dominican Sisters.

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

The Vigil Prayer will be held at 7 pm, Monday, 10/4//21, in St. Catherine Chapel. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered in St. Catherine Chapel at 10:30 am, Tuesday, 10/5/21. Prayers of Committal will be held in the Congregation Cemetery. Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, MI, 49221.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Anderson-Marry Funeral Home, Adrian.

Sister ministered in Michigan over 12 years:

  • St. Brigid, Detroit (1953): Elementary Teacher
  • St. Brigid, Detroit (1954-58): Elementary Teacher
  • St. Scholastica, Detroit (1958-62): Elementary Teacher/Accountant
  • St. Paul High School, Owosso (1962-66): High School Teacher
  • 2003-2009: Administrative Assistant

Obituaries for clergy and religious who have lived or served in the Archdiocese of Detroit may be emailed to [email protected]. Obituaries are printed as they are submitted, but may be edited for grammar and style. Detroit Catholic reserves the right to refuse or edit any submissions.


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