Sisters of Notre Dame…Missioned to Incarnate the Love of our good and provident God

Sister Grace Mary

Sister Grace Mary                              ND 5485                            PDF Download

(formerly Sister Mary Foster)

Grace Mary CORBETT

Immaculate Conception Province, USA

Date and Place of Birth:            January 2, 1940             Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Profession: January 3, 1961             Cleveland, Ohio
Date and Place of Death:         November 18, 2023       Health Care Center, Chardon, Ohio
Date and Place of Burial:          November 28, 2023       Resurrection Cemetery, Chardon

Born at the beginning of a new year, Grace was truly a gift. She treasured her parents, Edward and Stella (Gunn) Corbett, and her two sisters. The three girls grew up surrounded by love and nurtured by a deep faith and close family bonds. They celebrated and were proud of their Irish heritage. Grace loved to play with neighborhood friends. With her natural athleticism and competitive spirit, she developed life-long skills for favorite sports—tennis, swimming, bowling, baseball and biking. After completing elementary grades at Christ the King School in Cleveland, Grace entered Regina High School in South Euclid and met the Sisters of Notre Dame. Impressed with their dedication to education and their love for God, she decided to enter the community. She became a postulant on July 2, 1958. At investment she received the name Sister Mary Foster.

Sister Grace received a bachelor’s degree in education from St. John College in Cleveland and a master’s degree in administration from John Carroll University in University Heights. As a junior high teacher, principal and then tutor, her ministry in elementary education spanned almost sixty years. She was a master teacher, respected and loved by students, parents and co-workers. Sister had a firm and business-like manner, tempered with love and compassion as she encouraged her students to reach their potential. Sister Grace was known for her ability to meet the needs of individual students, especially those with learning difficulties. She was firm but fair. Always ready for an adventure, her sense of humor, quick wit and ready smile welcomed everyone she met.

In 1988 Sister Grace, Sister Regina Davala and Sister Mary Virginia Reesing, principals of three struggling urban schools, collaborated to merge the schools. They embraced the challenge to strengthen Catholic education in Cleveland. Their vision became Metro Catholic Parish School, a recipient of the National School of Excellence Award. In 1995 John Carroll University awarded each of the Sisters a Doctor of Divinity degree, honoris causa.

After retirement from full-time classroom teaching in 2010, Sister Grace ministered as a science lab teacher and reading skills tutor. Students knew they had to be diligent in applying the scientific method—no excuses accepted. They also knew that Sister Grace would be present to guide and to encourage.

An avid reader and a true wordsmith, Sister’s quest for knowledge reflected her desire to know and appreciate the awesomeness of God’s presence in the world. She treasured the gifts of creation while camping, hiking, bird-watching or walking. She recognized and admired the smallest of exquisite wild flowers, the composition of large rocks and the position of the constellations. Her journey was rooted in the beauty of nature surrounding her.

For many years Sister Grace lived with a weakened heart condition. In the past few months as her health declined, her beloved family and her many faithful friends were a source of company, comfort and laughter as they shared memories. We are grateful for the gift of her life, her energy and spirit. May our Sister Grace Mary rest in peace.

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