The daughter of Mary Louise (Legris) and Eugene Jerome LaMarre, Sister Anne Michelle was born Nov. 24, 1928, in Kankakee, Ill., and baptized Monica Margaret LaMarre. She entered the Sisters of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross in 1946 after graduating from high school. On April 25, 1947, she was received into the Sisters of Loretto, taking the name Sister Anne Michelle. She made her first vows April 25, 1949, and her final vows Aug. 15, 1952. Sister Anne Michelle earned a bachelor’s degree in education, with a minor in social studies, from Loretto Heights College in Denver in 1963 and a master’s degree in education from Webster College (now University) in Webster Groves in 1978.
While teaching, Sister Anne Michelle became known to many of her students as Mother Goose, dressing the part when she read to her young charges. The most important thing in teaching little ones, she would say, was to love each child, to let each child know that he or she was lovable and was loved. She taught children how to open their own hearts and minds, to trust themselves and others, to share and to give. Sister Anne Michelle once wrote that she sought “to create an awareness in the children of the special gifts and talents that each one of them possesses. Once they recognize the goodness within themselves and that they truly are a reflection of God’s love, I challenge each of them to share those gifts and talents with those less fortunate.”
In El Paso, from 1949 to 1959 she taught at Loretto Academy Grade School. Elsewhere, she taught for more than 25 years in the Chicago Archdiocese and also served in the Kansas City, Mo., area. She retired from teaching in 2010, residing at the St. Louis Loretto Center until moving earlier this year to the Loretto Motherhouse Infirmary, where she carried out a ministry of prayer and presence until her death. Sister Michelle Anne is survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Michelle and John Donnelly, of St. Charles, Ill. Memorials in Sister Anne Michelle’s name may be sent to the Loretto Community, care of the Loretto Development Office, 4000 S. Wadsworth Blvd., Littleton, CO 80123-1308.