May They Rest in Peace: Sr. Mary (Coronata) Laubacher, IHM
Jun 11, 2019
Sr. Mary Laubacher, IHM, 101, died Friday, June 7, in the IHM Health Care Center in Monroe. She was recently under hospice care.
Sister Mary was one of seven children born to Herman and Margaret (Keffler) Laubacher of Canton, Ohio. Mary was born on the Feast of the Assumption, Aug. 15, 1917, and baptized in St. Joseph Church (Canton). The children attended the parish grade school and Mary later graduated from St. John the Baptist High School, Canton. In 1934, she entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Monroe, and received the religious name Sister Coronata. Sister Mary celebrated her 80th jubilee as an IHM Sister in 2015.
Education was her life-long ministry and was lived out in various professional venues. As a teacher, Sister Mary guided students at St. Michael and St. Mary, Monroe; St. Mary of Redford, Gesu and St. Gregory, Detroit; and St. Felicitas, Chicago. As a principal and teacher, she ministered at Sacred Heart High School, Roseville and St. Stephen High School, Port Huron, where she taught journalism.
She furthered her own educational pursuits by earning a bachelor’s degree at Marygrove College, a master’s degree in education at the University of Detroit and a doctoral degree in education at Wayne State University. Sister Mary later taught in Education at Marygrove College, led the teacher training program and served as department chair. Many former students became friends and remained in contact throughout the years.
In 1974, Sister Mary moved to Lansing, Mich. to minister in the Diocese of Lansing as Secondary School consultant, director of Teacher Corps and Curriculum consultant for 45 schools within the diocese. She served the last three years as assistant superintendent of schools. In 1980, the diocese gratefully recognized her work in a civic commendation.
Sister Mary returned to serve in the IHM community sponsored schools as librarian at Marian High School, Bloomfield Hills and as principal at St. Mary Academy, Monroe. After a year of renewal at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., Sister Mary returned to live at the Motherhouse in 1986. She served as congregational Education secretary and librarian for more than 10 years. She cheerfully assisted staff with projects and always shared a kind and caring word with those she encountered in her day.
Sister Mary is survived by her sister, Jean (Eymarda) Laubacher, IHM; cousin Carola Keffler, IHM; her sisters in community and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by brothers, Bernard, Edward, Joseph and Thomas, and sister, Olivia Kinitz.
Visitation will be held at the IHM Motherhouse, 610 W. Elm Ave., Monroe, on Wednesday, June 12, beginning at 9 a.m. A Remembering and Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in the Chapel at 10 a.m. Burial of cremains will take place at a later date. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Rupp Funeral Home, Monroe. Memorials may be made to the IHM Retirement Fund, 610 W. Elm Ave., Monroe, MI 48162-7909.