Franciscan Sister Mary Mercita Pipp, 94, died Jan. 2 at St. Francis Convent, Little Falls. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Francis Convent Saturday, Jan. 5, at 11 a.m. Friends may call at St. Francis Convent on Saturday from 10 a.m. until the time of the funeral at 11 a.m.
Sister Mary Mercita was born Frieda Alberta Pipp on Feb. 25, 1924, in Draschitz, Austria. She was the only child of the late Urban and Mary (Tschurwald) Pipp. She moved to the United States in 1940 and settled with family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, graduating from Mercy High School in 1942. She was accepted as a Franciscan sister on August 12, 1943, and was given the name Sister Mary Mercita. She was a Franciscan sister for 75 years, celebrating her 75th anniversary on June 24, 2018.
Sister Mercita obtained her R.N. at St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing, Breckenridge. In 1959 she earned a B.S. in nursing, and in 1968, a master’s degree in nursing administration, both from Marquette University. She did further studies in administration at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
In her ministry as an RN, Sister Mercita was a staff nurse, nursing supervisor, director of nursing and instructor. She also served in administration with her final health position being vice president of Trinity Memorial Hospital, Cudahy, Wisconsin. In addition, she served as an assistant minister on the community board of the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls from 1980 to 1984.
In 1967 Sister Mercita went to Cartagena, Colombia, South America as a member of Project HOPE. Her time with Project Hope was primarily in Cartagena, but she also spent time in Venezuela and Brazil. After retiring from active health care ministry, Sister Mercita returned to Marquette and took courses in parish nursing and grief counseling. She became involved in pastoral ministry and parish nursing and was on the staff of St. Stephen’s Congregation in Milwaukee.
Survivors include her godchild, Tanya Fondino; cousins, friends and her Franciscan community. Donations to Franciscan Sisters ministries preferred.