Sister Mary Jacqueline Nelson died June 2 at The Sarah Community in Bridgeton. She was 95 and had been a Franciscan Sister of Mary for 81 years.
Born Mary Virginia Nelson in St. Louis, she entered the Sisters of St. Mary in 1939; she received the name Sister Mary Jacqueline and professed final vows in 1946. (In 1987 the Sisters of St. Mary reunited with the Sisters of St. Francis of Maryville, Missouri, as the Franciscan Sisters of Mary.)
She was certified as a licensed practical nurse in 1959 and earned a certificate in cardiology in 1963.
Known as Sister Jackie, she began her ministry at St. Mary of the Angels Convent. She staffed the coffee shop at Mount St. Rose Hospital in St. Louis from 1951-54 and worked as a nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital in Jefferson City, Missouri from 1954-58. From 1958-74 she served at St. Francis Hospital in Blue Island, Illinois, first in housekeeping, then supervising the cardiology unit and visiting patients. In 1962 she provided occupational therapy at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center. She was a receptionist at St. Mary’s Health Center in St. Louis from 1975-76 and lobby receptionist at St. Mary of the Angels Convent from 1976-92. She served as receptionist, switchboard operator, service center associate and mail clerk for SSM Data Center from 1992-93, SSM Information Center from 1993-2000 and SSM Health Businesses from 2001-07. She retired in April 2007. Sister Mary Jacqueline moved to The Sarah Community in December 2010.
In her ministry, she enjoyed working with the sick, learning new skills and feeling that she could make a difference to others.
A Mass of farewell will be held in the chapel at The Sarah Community at a future date. A private burial was to take place at Resurrection Cemetery in St. Louis.