Luanne Olfs was born in Marine City, Mich. on July 6, 1930 to Francis and Lucile (Crowley) Olfs. She attended St. Charles grade school (Detroit) and completed high school at St. Mary Academy (Monroe). After graduation in 1948, she entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Monroe, and received the religious name Sister Grace Mary.
Sister Grace Mary began her teaching ministry at St. Boniface (Detroit), St. Charles (Newport) and St. Anne (Warren) before moving west to Albuquerque, New Mexico at Holy Ghost for several years. Returning to Michigan, she taught at St. Cyprian (Riverview), Immaculata High School and Gesu (Detroit), while completing a master’s degree at the University of Detroit. Mathematics emerged as her curriculum of choice.
In 1966, she was one of the initial five IHM Sisters missioned to Maryhill College (Austin, Texas) which later became part of St. Edward University. She served first as faculty and then Associate Dean of Students for five years. At the invitation of Austin Community College, she became Director of Arts and Sciences, Coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction, and Associate Vice President. She left Texas in 1985 to become Academic Dean and Vice President of St. Catherine College (St. Catherine, Kentucky) until 1991.Taking time for renewal and transition, Sister Grace Mary returned to Michigan, residing first in St. Clair, and then in Marine City while teaching at Cardinal Mooney High School until 2000.
Upon retirement from teaching, she remained in St. Clair and was active in community events, volunteer eldercare, and study of theology, spirituality and ecology. Sister Grace Mary moved to Monroe in 2013 to be close to her sister Patricia, who resided at the IHM Senior Living Community.
Sister Grace Mary is survived by cousins and her sisters in community. She was preceded in death by sister Patricia Olfs and parents, Francis and Lucile Olfs. Read Sr. Grace Mary’s Remembering here.