Sr. Mary Laurel Hautman, age 80 of the Srs. of St. Francis in Oldenburg, died Sunday, July 31, 2016 at the Convent. Born October 16, 1935 in Cincinnati, she is the daughter of Verena (Nee: Kopp) and Louis Hautman. She entered the convent September 8, 1952 and made her final vows August 12, 1958.She attended St. Dominic School. Mary Laurel’s brothers were slightly older than she, and each eventually left to fight in WWII. The young student recalled, “From the time that I was in the second to the seventh grade, my four brothers were never home together. There was constant coming and going as they came home on furloughs, and soon we would take them back to the Union Terminal. When the war was over we were very blessed as they all came home.”Later Mary Laurel attended high school at the Immaculate Conception Academy in Oldenburg where she became familiar with the Sisters of St. Francis. During her junior year she began to consider a religious vocation.The young novice went on to graduate from both Marian University and Xavier University. Sr. Mary Laurel started her ministry as an elementary teacher having taught at Holy Family in Richmond, IN, St. Anthony in Streator, IL, Our Lady of Mercy in Dayton, OH, and Our Lady of Victory, St. James, St. Aloysius Gonzaga and Our Lady of Lourdes in Cincinnati, OH. She served as a Pastoral Associate at St. Bonaventure in Cincinnati, OH, and finally as Co-Director of the Sisters’ Communications office in Oldenburg, IN.During her 30-year teaching career, Sr. Mary Laurel taught grades one, two, three and six, but her favorite was teaching the first grade students as they were so eager to learn and full of energy. During a sabbatical year she was blessed to travel to visit the convent’s Prayer Lodge in Montana, and returned there years later for another visit. Mary Laurel greatly treasured her memories of the Native Americans she met – and their prayer ceremonies, dances and pow-wows. In her retirement years she continued to minister in the Office of Congregational Advancement, and later as a Minister of Praise, and appreciated all the care she received from Sr. Judith Werner through the years, and from the caring staff at St. Clare Hall.Sr. Mary Laurel once commented, “As I look back on my years in Community, some years have not been easy, but I learned long ago that the convent and our Community in particular is where I am supposed to be. God has walked close to me all during these years and I describe my God as holding my hand as we walk this journey of life together.”She is survived by nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, she is also preceded in death by brothers Louis, Thomas, Robert and Jerry Hautman. Visitation is Thursday, August 4th, from 1 – 3 p.m. at the convent chapel. Funeral services follow at 3 p.m. with Rev. James Meade officiating and burial in the convent cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Srs. of St. Francis, P.O. Box 100, Oldenburg, IN, 47036 (www.oldenburgfranciscans.org).