SISTER OLLA LAPLANT

Posted May 08, 2009, at 7:55 p.m.

OLD ORCHARD BEACH – Sister Olla Laplante went home to her loving God May 8, 2009. Born Oct. 4, 1924, at Soldier Pond, Olla was the 10th and last child of Theophrase and Julia Laplante. When Olla was 4, the family moved to Millinocket, a mill town at the foot of Mount Katahdin in central Maine. It was in Millinocket that Olla encountered the Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. Though she attended the public school, Olla enjoyed spending time with the Sisters and helping them with their classrooms after school. Upon her graduation from Stearns High School in 1942, Olla heard the call to leave home, family and country to follow Christ. She entered the Novitiate of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, Rimouski, Quebec, and made Religious Profession Feb. 2, 1945. During her 64 years of religious life, Sister Olla, faithful to the mission of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, served the people of God in various ways; as an elementary school teacher, a principal and religious education, as well as other pastoral ministries in Maine and in the Gaspe Coast of the Province of Quebec. It was a great gift for Sister Olla to bring Communion to sick and to volunteer for various parish functions. Sister Olla also served as regional treasurer of her community for 10 years, as the regional superior and as the local superior for a number of years. She enjoyed traveling, especially the recent trips to Mississippi, Grand Canyon, across Canada and the cruise on the St. Lawrence River with her brother, sister and niece. To all that Sister Olla has accomplished she did so with great enthusiasm and “joie de vie.” In 1950, Sister Olla was hospitalized for tuberculosis. With complications, Sister Olla lost two lobes of her right lung and then seven ribs were removed to collapse the remaining lobe. More recently, in 2003, Sister Olla underwent a mastectomy for breast cancer. Throughout Sister Olla has faced her illnesses with great faith, courage and enthusiasm for a life filled with hope. She has been a beacon for the people of Old Orchard Beach these past 24 years and with the RSR lay associates for the same amount time. Sister Olla will be remembered for her sense of humor, her gracious hospitality, her leadership, her courage, thoughtfulness, enthusiasm and high energy spirit. Sister Olla was predeceased by her parents; her sisters, Alva, Lorraine and Irma; and her brothers, Leo, Lionel and Everett. She leaves her sister, Dolores Nickless of Lynn, Mass.; a brother, the Rev. Conrad Laplante, OFM, of Montreal; as well as her Sisters in Community. She has 26 nieces and nephews and their children. Sister Olla will be waked 4-8 p.m. Monday at St. Margaret ‘s Church, Old Orchard Beach, with prayers 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian burial will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday at the church. Donations in her memory may be made to Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Retirement Fund, 20 Thomas St., Portland, ME 04102. Arrangements with Old Orchard Beach Funeral Home.

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