Sister Olive Louise Dallavis 1921-2016


January 25, 1921 - December 1, 2016

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Sister Olive Louise Dallavis who passed away on December 1 at Nazareth Living Center in St. Louis, Missouri. She was 95 years of age.

Sister Olive Louise was born on January 25, 1921, in Nokomis, Illinois, to parents Reed Louis and Olivia (Odorizzi) Dallavis. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on September 15, 1938, and made her final profession on August 15, 1944.

She received her bachelor’s degree in music  from Fontbonne College in 1948 and a master's in music from the University of Illinois, Champaign in 1952. 

Sister Olive Louise served nearly 70 years in education.  She began teaching on the primary level in St. Louis, Missouri, at St. Thomas of Aquin Grade School in 1941.  She taught the next two years at St. Agnes Grade School.  

She began her 57 years of service in Kansas City, Missouri in 1952.  She taught at Visitation Grade School for two years and taught at the College of St. Teresa.  In 1954,  she continued teaching at the College of St. Teresa while teaching at St. Teresa Academy and in 1959 Sister Olive Louise taught full time at the college. She transition to the dean of students and acting president in 1960 and served as president from 1961 through 1985. She was acting president when the College of St. Teresa moved to the Wornall location and was renamed, Avila College.

After stepping down as president, Sister Olive Louise continue to be an active force for Avila. She served as the president emerita and had an active role in the Advancement Office.  Sister Olive Louise served during yet another name change as she continued her work in the Advancement Office as the Avila College progressed to Avila University.  

During her time in Kansas City, Sister Olive Louise was awarded an appreciation letter from the Department of State in 1965,  the (National) Beautiful Activist Award, Germaine Monteil in 1973, Best College President from the Kansas City Town Squire in 1974, Citizen of the Year Award from UNICO in 1980, Kansas City Career Woman of the Year in 1981, Name Lady  Commander of Merit by Pope Paul VI (was the first woman religious to be so honored), Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters from Avila University in 2007 and the Avila University Medal of Honor just to name a few.

She was an icon in the Kansas City region.  She will never be forgotten by the thousands of live she touched at Avila University and beyond.

The Funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 10 a.m. at Nazareth Living Center. The viewing will be at 9 a.m. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, St. Louis Province, 6400 Minnesota Ave., St. Louis, MO 63111-2899. Donate online.

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