Mary Jo Vetter


Mary Jo Vetter, age 95, of Woonsocket died Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 at Prairie View Care Center, Woonsocket.
Funeral services were Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 10:30 a.m. in St. Wilfrid Catholic Church, Woonsocket, with Fr. Jim Friedrich officiating. Burial was in the church cemetery. Visitations were Monday at St. Wilfrid Catholic Church, with scripture service at 7 p.m., and one hour prior to service at the church on Tuesday.
Arrangements are by Basham Funeral Service, Woonsocket.
Mary Jo Grassel was born on Jan. 11, 1918 to Joe and Mary (Maddock) Grassel at their rural home in Artesian. She was the eldest of eight children. She attended rural school at Afton #4, freshman year of high school at Notre Dame Academy in Mitchell,  sophomore and junior years at Woonsocket High School and graduated from Artesian High School in 1937. She took nurse’s training at St. Joseph School of Nursing in Mitchell, graduating in 1940 as a registered nurse. She then became the office nurse for Dr. Mabee for four years.
In 1944, she joined the U.S. Army Nurse Corps for two years.  She served in Camp Crowder, Mo. and the Philippine Islands of Luzon, Leyte, and Mindanao.  She was discharged as a 1st. Lt. in 1946. In 1970 she became a charge nurse at the newly opened Prairie View Care Center for seven years.
On Feb. 1, 1947, she married Leo Vetter at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Brisbine.  They then farmed at Woonsocket. In 2008, she became a resident of Prairie View Care Center.
She was active in her church, St. Wilfrid, and the community. She received the Papal Medal Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice from Pope John XXIII in 1959 for her activity in the church and community. She was a member of the Altar Society, Catholic Daughters, Blue Army, American Legion and National Suffolk Association.
She is survived by three children, Theola Cecil of Littleton, Colo., John Vetter and wife, Gloria, and Margaret Christensen all of Woonsocket; 15 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren;  a brother, John Grassel of Artesian; two sisters, Eleanor Unterbrunner of Artesian and Raeburn Moore of Mitchell.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Leo, in 2001; granddaughter, Sarah Christensen; daughter-in-law, Jenny Vetter; son-in-law, Hans Christensen; brothers, Ted and Francis; sisters, Ruth Hinker and Monica VanOverschelde.

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