May They Rest in Peace: Sr. Mary Elizabeth ('Betty') Gaiss, OP

Sr. Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Gaiss, OP, formerly known as Sr. Andrew Joseph, died on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, at the Dominican Life Center, Adrian, Michigan. She was 85 and in the 60th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.

Sister Mary Elizabeth was born in Corning, New York, to Norbert and Leona (Aug) Gaiss. She graduated from Painted Post High School in Painted Post, New York, and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mixed Science from Teachers College in Albany, New York; a Master of Arts degree in Chemistry from Catholic University in Washington, DC, and a Master of Arts degree in Philosophy from St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Sr. Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Gaiss, OP

Sister Mary Elizabeth spent 11 years ministering in elementary and secondary education in Joliet, Illinois, and Detroit, St. Joseph, and Lansing, Michigan. She was a college professor for 15½ years at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mott Community College in Flint and Lansing Community College in Lansing. She also served for 10½ years as Coordinator of Health Affairs for the Diocese of Lansing and was Pastoral Associate for 11 years at St. Michael Parish in Grand Ledge, Michigan. Sister became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in Adrian in 2018.

Sister Mary Elizabeth was preceded in death by her parents. Sister is survived by a loving cousin, Joe Bowers of Baltimore, Maryland, 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 7:00 pm, Wednesday, October 20, 2021, in St. Catherine Chapel. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered in St. Catherine Chapel at 10:30 am, Thursday, October 21, 2021. 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 50 years:

  • Visitation, Detroit (1962): Elementary Teacher
  • St. Joseph High School, St. Joseph (1962-66): High School Teacher
  • Msgr. Gabriel High School, Lansing (1966-70): High School Teacher
  • Center for Religious Studies, Lansing (1973-74): High School Teacher
  • Michigan State University, East Lansing (1973-75): Assistant Researcher
  • Diocese of Lansing, Lansing (1976-87): Coordinator for Health Affairs
  • Lansing community College, Lansing (1980-2002): College Teacher
  • Delta Community College, University Center (1986-87): College Teacher
  • Mott Community College, Flint (1990-2002): College Teacher
  • St. Michael Parish, Grand Ledge (2002-13): Pastoral Associate

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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