May They Rest in Peace: Sr. Vita M. Pierce, IHM

Sr. Vita M. Pierce, IHM, 79, died peacefully Thursday, Aug.17, at St. Mary Mercy Livonia Hospital after a brief illness, in the presence of IHM Sisters.

Sister Vita celebrated her 55th Jubilee anniversary as an IHM Sister in 2019. She came to the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Monroe, in 1963 as Catherine Ann Pierce and received the religious name Sister Vita Marie. Her parents, Gustav and Catherine (Cosgrove) Pierce married in Detroit and raised their family there. Her father was employed with Ford Motor Company.

Sr. Vita M. Pierce, IHM
Sr. Vita M. Pierce, IHM

Sister Vita, as she was known, attended St. Gregory elementary and high schools, graduated in 1962, and enrolled at the University of Detroit. After joining the community, she earned a bachelor’s degree from Marygrove College. She entered education ministry at Holy Cross, Marine City; St. Peter Claver, Mobile, Alabama; Le Merced and Casa La Providencia in Puerto Rico. In Puerto Rico, she felt a stronger call to a ministry of the poor and marginalized.

She returned to Michigan in 1973, earning a master’s degree at Wayne State University then pursuing doctoral studies. Sister Vita completed doctoral studies and certification as a licensed psychologist.

Her career ministry as a psychologist began at Wyandotte General Hospital and continued there for fifteen years until the facility merged, becoming Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital. Sister Vita served over thirty years in this capacity, a ministry that benefitted hundreds of people.

After Henry Ford, Sister Vita continued in private practice as a psychologist and supervisor for master’s level counseling. For many years, she resided in Dearborn, Wyandotte and Westland. She was active in IHM community governance, events and in the care of her fellow sisters.

Sister Vita is survived by her IHM Sisters in community and preceded in death by brothers Gustave and William and sisters Pearl and Mary E. Lubeck.

Services will be held at the IHM Motherhouse Chapel, 610 W. Elm Avenue, Monroe, on Thursday, Aug. 24. Welcoming of the body begins at 9 a.m. with a Remembering and Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Livestreaming begins at 10 a.m. and may be viewed until Sept. 14, 2023. Green Burial will follow in St. Mary's Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Rupp Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to the IHM Retirement Fund, 610 W. Elm Avenue, Monroe, MI 48162-7909.

Obituaries for clergy and religious who have lived or served in the Archdiocese of Detroit may be emailed to [email protected]. Obituaries are printed as they are submitted, but may be edited for grammar and style. Detroit Catholic reserves the right to refuse or edit any submissions.


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