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Career a natural path for nurse who put others first

| Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Michelle Grabski
Michelle Grabski

When Michelle Lee Grabski took time from her teaching duties to volunteer as a nurse practitioner in the Martin Luther King Clinic for the poor and homeless in Shreveport, La., she was following her life's quest of serving others.

“My sister was the oldest of seven,” said Sally Quinn of Emsworth. “She was our tutor, who set the bar up high when it came to providing help for those who could not help themselves and needed a caring hand.”

Michelle Lee Grabski of Bossier City, La., an assistant professor of nursing at Northwestern State University College of Nursing in Natchitoches, La., died of breast cancer on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, in Grace Home, Shreveport. She was 59.

Born and raised in the North Side, Mrs. Grabski attended the former Domenec High School.

“Caring for others was an instinct that permeated throughout her life,” said Quinn, deputy managing editor for features at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “And that was one of the reasons she chose a career in nursing.”

Mrs. Grabski's husband, Walter, a retired Air Force officer, remembered her as a woman who put the needs of others before her own.

“And as sick as she was during the weeks prior to her death, Michelle continued to teach class, knowing that her students would someday carry on her endeavors,” he said.

In addition to her husband, Walter, and sister, Sally, Mrs. Grabski is survived by her son, Jared Grabski of Woodland Park, Colo.; her siblings, Matthew and Kristopher Baier, Tama Schacht, Pierrette Kane and Rachel Krakosky; and one grandchild.

A memorial service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday in Sacred Heart Church, 154 Orchard Ave., Emsworth.

Jerry Vondas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7823 or

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