Sister M. Lucilla Osinski, former academic dean and English professor at Lourdes College, died yesterday of Alzheimer's disease at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Francis in Sylvania. She was 81.
Sister Osinski taught English for many years at the college, serving the college as it evolved from a school for women who entered the religious order to a co-educational institution.
“She was a tough teacher, but a good teacher because she wanted you to learn everything she knew,” Georgianne Warren, a close friend, said. “Everybody loved her for it.”
She was academic dean at Lourdes from the mid 1970s to 1981, returning to the classroom to teach English. She retired in 1998.
Born in Toledo, she entered the religious order after completing the eighth grade at the former Nativity Parish School.
“The night before she went, she rode the Ferris wheel at Walbridge Park three times,” Ms. Warren said. “She thought she would never get to do that again. She was just a kid, but going in that early didn't hurt her.”
After professing her final vows in 1943, Sister Osinski taught elementary school in Minnesota, then pursued more education that would take her to the top of her academic field.
She earned a bachelor of arts degree in history and English at St. Teresa College, Winona, Minn. Then she completed a master's degree in English and a doctorate in philosophy at Catholic University, Washington.
She undertook more religious studies at Regina Mundi in Rome.
Sister M. Rosaria Petra, former president of the college, also taught chemistry at the school.
“[Sister Osinski] was brilliant and I think one of the best teachers we ever had,” she said. “The students loved her and appreciated what she did for them. She was so thorough and knew the materials so well and was able to reach the students.”
As dean, she was involved in curriculum development and oversaw counseling of students.
“Everyone knew she was a woman of her word,” Sister Marie Andree, a former dean of the college, said. “Therefore, people trusted her. She was a great lady.”
Surviving are her sisters, Harriett Jacobs and Rosemary Albitz, and brother, John Osinski.
Services are pending tomorrow at the Queen of Peace Chapel in Sylvania. The body will be at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Francis, Sylvania, after 6 tonight.
The Wisniewski Funeral Home is handling arrangements.