Life Story / Obituary
Born Laureen Adele Miller in Grand Rapids, MI died on July 25, 2023. She was 77 years old and a Dominican Sister for 58 years.
Sister Marie Celeste received a BA in English from Aquinas College, a Certificate of Study from the Aquinas College Institute of Religious Studies, an MA in English from Middlebury College, Vermont, and a doctorate in Art History at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
Sister Marie Celeste served as a teacher at SS Peter & Paul High School, Saginaw and St. Mary, Gaylord, and then as Associate Professor of Art History at Aquinas College where she initiated a Humanities Program and served as Dean of Curriculum. She received the first annual Outstanding Aquinas College Woman’s Award for extraordinary service to the Aquinas Community by an Aquinas Faculty Member and upon her retirement from Aquinas College the Board of Trustees granted Sister Marie Celeste Associate Professor Emerita Faculty status in recognition of her twenty-nine years of teaching and leadership.
Then much to everyone’s surprise, Sister Marie Celeste turned her love for baking into opening a bakery featuring hand-crafted, beautifully presented cakes, biscotti, and brownies. Dubbed The Peace of Cake, Inc., which flourished until her diminished health necessitated its closure.
Those who lived and worked with her remember her as quiet and serious when the situation called for it. She is also remembered as a wonderful and energetic teacher, a loving and competent colleague, always pleasant, supportive, and prepared. She was a good conversationalist and gracious hostess. “Above all,” wrote one of her companions, “she was a good friend and a good listener, always there with support.”
Sister Marie Celeste Miller was preceded in death by her parents Robert Lockwood Miller and Lillian Maxine Miller. She is survived by her sister, Michelle Ringleka and her husband, Ron, of Caledonia, MI; her brother, Thomas Miller of Chicago, IL; her nephew, Christopher Schwallier, his wife, Nancy and their children, Celeste and Andrew Schwallier of Ada, MI; her niece, Robin Ringleka-Kottke, her husband, Steven and their children, Mari and Lucy Kottke of Viroqua, WI; many beloved cousins; friends and members of her Dominican Community.
Sister Marie Celeste will repose at Marywood Chapel of the Word, 111 Lakeside Dr NE, with visitation on Friday, July 28 from 6:00-7:00 pm followed by a Remembering Service at 7:00 pm. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, July 29 at 10:00 am at Marywood Chapel of the Word. Sisters, Family, and Close Friends are invited to join us in person for the Remembering Service and Funeral. Burial will be at Resurrection Cemetery. Memorials in Sister Marie Celeste Miller’s name may be made to the Grand Rapids Dominican Sisters.