Mary Grace (Erhardt) LaPierre

Born: Tue., Apr. 3, 1928
Died: Sun., Jan. 13, 2019

Private Committal

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Mary Grace LaPierre

April 3, 1928 - Jan. 13, 2019

MISHAWAKA, IN - Mary Grace LaPierre passed away peacefully on January 13 while residing at North Woods Village in Mishawaka. Born to Frank and Clara Grace Erhardt in 1928, Mary was a long time South Bend resident who always enjoyed her life in the area.

While growing up, Mary attended the primary schools of Muessel and Jefferson. Later she graduated from John Adams High School. During her early years, Mary loved music and became quite an accomplished pianist. In fact, she reminisced how she rode the South Shore with her father in order to take piano lessons in Chicago. Even though Mary read sheet music, she always liked to “play by ear”. During her adult years, Mary parlayed her love for music by learning to play the ukulele.

After high school Mary went to Purdue University and graduated with a BA in Home Economics and a minor in Spanish. While enjoying her time in West Lafayette, she was a member of the Delta Gamma sorority. During the latter part of her senior year, Mary and two of her sorority sisters had lots of fun running a “fictitious household” as part of their Home Economics degree requirements. Following graduation, Mary ventured to the University of Michigan for graduate work. At Michigan at that time was Louis LaPierre, Mary's childhood sweetheart.

On July 8, 1950 in Zion Evangelical United Brethren Church in South Bend, Mary married Louis and they took up married life together in Schenectady, New York. There Lou started his working life with General Electric that also took the couple to live in Bloomington, Illinois. In 1955 Mary and Lou returned to South Bend where they resided happily for the remainder of their lives together.

Upon returning to South Bend, Mary joined the Gray Lady organization as a volunteer in area hospitals and the Junior League. While serving in the latter, she ultimately served as its president and became a provisional member. As for hobbies, Mary enjoyed the purchasing of antiques and the refinishing of them. Also, she taught herself how to needlepoint which led to the making of many lovely pillows and pictures as gifts for family and friends.

When the urge for more foreign languages arose, Mary went back to college in order to take two new foreign languages: French and German. Mary put these languages to work by travelling with Lou to many foreign countries. Together the two saw the sights of England, western Europe, Canada, Greece, Russia, Scandinavia, Spain, Portugal and the Caribbean. Occasionally, Christmas cards were exchanged as a result of friendships that were made on these trips.

Locally for vacation, Mary and Lou enjoyed several weeks every summer on the shores of Lake Michigan. Family and friends would frequent the LaPierre cottage and enjoy Lou and Mary's hospitality of golf, beaching, dining, sunsets and sing-alongs. For the song fests, Lou would supply the song sheets and Mary would play the ukulele. That family lake tradition was kept intact for 52 years.

Mary was preceded in death by Lou (2015); her parents, Frank and Clara Grace Erhardt; her brother, Duke Erhardt; and her sister, Virginia Noyes. Surviving are her 3 sons: Keith LaPierre of Granger, IN, Mark (Kathy) LaPierre of South Bend, IN, and Frank LaPierre of Edwardsburg, MI. Her five grandchildren include Lauren LaPierre of Highland, IN, Thomas LaPierre of Granger, IN, Lou LaPierre IV and Madeline LaPierre both of Edwardsburg, MI.

The LaPierre family would like to thank Mary's long time physician, Dr. Gail English of the South Bend Clinic, for the several years of professional care to Mary. Also, special thanks go out to the North Woods Village staff and for the 4 years that Mary spent under its kindness and professional care.

In keeping with Mary's wishes a memorial service or viewing will not be held. Family members will privately celebrate together her wonderful life and her reuniting with Lou at Riverview Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Church of South Bend, 333 W. Colfax Ave., South Bend, IN 46601. Welsheimer Family Funeral Homes is handling the arrangements. Family and friends may leave e-mail condolences at

Charitable donations may be made in Mary's memory to the following organization:

First Presbyterian Church
333 W. Colfax Ave., South Bend, IN, 46601

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Gail Fragomeni
   Posted Thu January 17, 2019
Dear Keith, Mark and Frank. I'm so sorry to hear of the passing of your mother. I have many fond memories of conversations with her at your home. Know that my heart goes out to your whole family. I feel like I'm losing a bit of my childhood with her passing. I'm so sorry for your loss, sincerely with love, Gail

Jim and Margo Bell
   Posted Fri January 18, 2019
So sorry about the passing of Mary. She was truly a beautiful lady, a loving wife, mother, grandmother, friend. We enjoyed Notre Dame tailgating with her and the family. Our prayers are with you all.

Maureen Jones
   Posted Sat January 19, 2019
Dear Keith, Mark, and Frank and family-

Please accept my condolences on the loss of your wonderful mother. She was so full of life and believe she is at peace and joyful to be reunited with your father.

Bill and I enjoyed a long and fun filled friendship with your parents. I imagine the three of them laughing together now. Mary and Lou were so hospitable and we enjoyed so many delicious dinners at their beautiful home as well as barbecues and bonfires with sing-alongs at the lake. They were wonderful friends in good times and in bad and I wii be forever grateful for their friendship.

Love and prayers to all of you. Maureen Jones

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