The Gustavian Weekly

Gustie of the Week: Grace Goblirsch

By Renee Hoppe A&E Editor | November 9, 2013 | Gustie of the Week

Grace (pictured center) with a portion of the Gustavus Swim & Dive team. The team supported Grace throughout her treatment and made “Race for Grace” their motto of the season. Submitted

Grace (pictured center) with a portion of the Gustavus Swim & Dive team. The team supported Grace throughout her treatment and made “Race for Grace” their motto of the season. Submitted

Her smile, infectious laugh, and goofy personality are traits by which many on campus best remember Grace Goblirsch. As an aspiring Health Fitness major, Grace excelled both in the pool, as a member of the Gustavus Swim and Dive team and in the classroom. After being diagnosed with leukemia last December in the middle of her sophomore year, there was no question as to whether there was anyone more deserving of the outpouring of love and support she received from friends and teammates on campus.

“Grace had a presence about her, and it will never be forgotten. She was a genuinely happy person, and she radiated that happiness to the people around her. If you were having a bad day or just needed someone to lean on, Grace was there for you. I hope that the Gustavus community can honor her memory by radiating that same kind of happiness to someone each and every day,” teammate and friend Alissa Tinklenberg said.

Inspired by Grace’s resilience and bravery, the Gustavus Swim and Dive team banded together making “Race for Grace” their motto for the year. As word of her diagnosis spread, teams and individuals from across the conference also reached out in support for her and her family.

While Grace’s time on campus was short, her legacy lives on in those whom she impacted with her positivity and perseverence. Submitted

While Grace’s time on campus was short, her legacy lives on in those whom she impacted with her positivity and perseverence. Submitted

“I think Grace really appreciated the support from the whole team. Our family watched conference via live streaming and got to see that the team wore their ‘R4G’ caps, and had Grace tattoos, which made her feel like she was still part of the team. She was also moved by the amount of guys on the team that shaved their heads for her when she lost her beautiful curls to chemo. Throughout the battle, she felt very loved by her swim family,” First-Year and sister Claire Goblirsch said.

Grace’s zest for life flooded over into everything she was involved in, from group projects for class to watching Grey’s Anatomy with friends, to bringing her best effort to every swim practice.

“I will never forget the passion to improve that Grace showed every practice and every race. Grace really did swim to inspire. She had such a drive to continue to improve. Swimming wasn’t just her workout of choice, she wanted to go fast! Grace wanted to contribute to the team as a teammate and a competitor. While her passing is still fresh and absolutely heartbreaking, I refuse to let the end define my thoughts about Grace,” Head Gustavus Swim Coach Jon Carlson said.

In reflecting on Grace’s presence during her time at Gustavus, her friends remember her most for her sense of humor and ability to get along with everyone.

“I was immediately drawn to her because she was just crazy and bubbly and so lively,” Tiana Cervantes said.

“One of Grace’s trademark reactions was to say ‘duh’ in a silly voice and dramatically roll her eyes at you,” McKenna Jones said.

Even while in the hospital, Grace maintained her usual optimistic attitude and vibrant personality.

“While I had never seen [Grace] anything but happy, I was still amazed that despite being dealt this kind of hand, she didn’t ever let it get her down,” Cervantes said.

Submitted

Submitted

“She never failed to smile. Even if she didn’t have that great of a race or that great of a grade on a paper, she always found something to smile about,” Jones said.

Support from campus was visible in every hospital room she stayed in, where she proudly displayed the numerous stuffed animals, coloring books, movies, and the cards that she was showered with. Additionally, the impact she had on campus was evident in the sheer number of “Race for Grace” t-shirts and bracelets that were sold to support her family and cancer foundations. While her physical presence on campus was short, her spirit lingers on with those whose lives she made a little brighter.

“When everybody found out about her leukemia via Twitter and Facebook, she was flooded with support. She had many of her Gustie friends visit her at the hospital, including her swim coach, Jon. I think seeing these people lifted her spirits and gave her hope. Grace truly loved Gustavus, and really blossomed here. She met awesome people and gained many amazing friends. She will be forever remembered on this campus by everyone that met her,” Claire Goblirsch said.

Post a Comment




It is the goal of The Gustavian Weekly to spark a rich and meaningful conversation of varying viewpoints with readers. By submitting a comment you grant The Gustavian Weekly a perpetual license to reproduce your words, full name and website on this website and in its print edition. By submitting a comment, you also agree to not hold The Gustavian Weekly or Gustavus Adolphus College liable for anything relating to your comment, and agree to take full legal responsibility for your comment and to indemnify and hold harmless The Gustavian Weekly and Gustavus Adolphus College from any claims, lawsuits, judgments, legal fees and costs that it may incur on account of your comment or in enforcing this agreement. Comments that pass through our automatic spam filter are posted immediately. Comments that do not include the full first and last name of the visitor, include links or content relating to entities that do not directly relate to the content of the article, include profanity, or include copyrighted material may be removed from the site. The Weekly's Web Editor and Editor-in-Chief also reserve the right to remove comments for other reasons at their discretion. Criticism of The Weekly is welcome in the comment section of the website, and those wishing to express criticism of The Weekly are also encouraged to contact the Editor-in-Chief or submit a letter to the editor. Please be respectful, and thank you for your contribution!