Mary Nicholas Vincelli, CSJ
PAUL, Minn. – Wise, witty and wonderful, this small, yet persistent advocate for the dear neighbor was born Eleanor Angeline, on February 2, 1927, to Nicholas Mario and Mary (Sauro) Vincelli. She died on June 1, 2021 at United Hospital in St. Paul.
After completing a B.S. in Nursing and Biology from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minn. (1948), she joined the community of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (1950), and was given the name “Mary Nicholas.” She later received an M.A. in Medical Surgery Nursing and Teaching from the University of Iowa (1966).
Her generous ministry of service as a nurse, supervisor, instructor, and director spanned more than 60 years and took her to hospitals and universities in East Grand Forks, Minneapolis, and St. Paul, Minn.; Fargo, Grand Forks, and Jamestown, N.D.; Hidalgo County, Mission, and South Texas.
While in East Grand Forks she had the opportunity to serve the migrant community working in the sugar beet fields. Having enjoyed this work, Mary Nicholas then went to Texas, where she and dear friend Pat DeBlieck, CSJ, worked tirelessly for 44 years to bring innovative quality health care, especially in the area of maternity and child care, to the immigrant community. In recognition of this extraordinary work Mary Nicholas received numerous awards, including the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who’s Who, in 2019.
Mary Nicholas is preceded in death by her parents; sisters, Angeline Clark, Margaret Bougie, Josephine Vincelli, Madeline Kubes, Josephine Vincelli and Dorothy Thole; and brothers, Patrick and Nicholas Vincelli.
She is survived by many nieces and nephews; grand-nieces and nephews; dear friends; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Consociates.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, June 18, 2021, at 11:00 a.m., in Our Lady of the Presentation Chapel, 1884 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul, with burial following at Resurrection Cemetery in Mendota Heights. Social distancing, limited seating, and wearing masks is required. Arrangements are under the direction of Willwerscheid Funeral Home & Cremation Service and can be reached at 651-228-1006 for further details.
Memorials preferred to the Sisters of St. Joseph Ministries Foundation. Sister Mary Nicholas, rest in love and peace.