Sister Michele MacMillan, nee Joan Mary, was born in Olympia, WA, September 1, 1930 but the family moved to Coeur d’Alene early on. She started school in Coeur d’Alene but once again the family moved; this time to Tacoma where she was enrolled at St. Patrick’s School. Upon graduating from St. Patrick’s, she attended and graduated from Aquinas Academy.
She entered the Dominicans of Tacoma in 1947 with companions Sisters Beverly Bentley, Patricia Uphus, Eileen Marie Glavin, Mary Lucy Claus and former member Katherine Vornbrock. She received the habit and the name Sister Mary Michele on January 21, 1948.
Following profession, she began an illustrious teaching ministry. Over the years she was assigned to St. Paul’s, Yakima; Holy Family, Kirkland; in Seattle at Our Lady of the Lake, St. Edward’s, Mount Virgin, and St. Ann’s. She also taught at Aquinas Academy in Tacoma.
Sister Michele received her bachelor’s degree from Central Washington State College. She then went on to continue studies at Seattle University, University of Washington and Fresno State. She received her MS in language communication disorders which led to years of working in language and speech therapy through the Archdiocesan Department of Education both in Tacoma and in Seattle.
Working in speech and language therapy prepared her when she began her years of ministry with refugee population both in the Mt. Virgin Refugee Project, which she initiated, and later, in Highline Community College where she designed and implemented a pronunciation program.
Her last years in active ministry were focused on working with the Refugee Project, teaching and advocating on their behalf. She brought the community together and orchestrated celebrations and liturgical services while always being sure that the culture of the people was respected and honored.
Sister Michele moved to St. Joseph Residence in 2018. She is predeceased by her parents, George and Dawn (Kosakowski) and her brother Michael. The final celebration of her earthly life will be on October 28, at 11:00 AM at St. Joseph Residence with sharing beginning at 10:30.
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