John Louise Leahy, IHM

Leahy_JohnLouiseBorn in Detroit on Sept. 29, 1925, Jean Gibbons Leahy was one of two daughters of John and Marion (Miner) Leahy. Baptized at SS. Peter and Paul Church, Detroit, she attended Winterhalter and St. Cecilia schools and graduated from Immaculata High School (Detroit). Jean continued on to Marygrove College, graduating in 1947. Later that year she entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Monroe and received the religious name, Sister John Louise.

Her education at Marygrove prepared her as a teacher and she initially taught at the elementary level at St. Joseph, St. Mary and St. Mary Academy (Monroe) and St. Michael (Flint). It was her studies in art that led her to teach and exhibit at the collegiate level. Sister John Louise studied at Columbia University and held a Master of Fine Arts degree from Catholic University of America, Washington D.C. She pursued a doctorate in education from Wayne State University to support her position as professor of art at Marygrove College. Her career at Marygrove spanned 1955 to 1998 and included positions of assistant professor of art, departmental advisor, and art therapist.

She retired from Marygrove College in 1998 and remained active in the Detroit art community while residing at Marygrove Convent. During these years of “active-retirement” Sister John Louise cared for her sister Margaret (“Patti”) Leahy De Ceballos.

Sister John Louise moved to Monroe in 2004 and then to the Motherhouse in 2009. She led art classes at the Motherhouse and volunteered as art educator and art therapist. Many of her works are displayed throughout the Motherhouse.

Sister John Louise was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Margaret Leahy De Ceballos. She is survived by cousin, Dr. Richard Leahy and family, as well as her sisters in community.

Read her Remembering here.