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Obituary: Mary Vnuk


January 7, 2022

Mary Vnuk, 83, of Palm Harbor, Florida, and Cloquet, Minnesota, passed away Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Palm Harbor. She was born in Cloquet to Ira and Jessie Sell on Dec. 11, 1937.

Mary Frances Sell married Richard John Joseph Vnuk on Aug. 15, 1964. She graduated from St. Scholastica's School of Nursing and worked initially as a floor and emergency room nurse before becoming a nursing instructor for both St. Luke's School of Nursing in Duluth and Lake Superior Community College. She also helped run and manage Vnuk's Liquor Market in Cloquet for more than 30 years alongside her husband, Richard. Mary was a devout Catholic and longtime member of Saints Mary and Joseph Church in Sawyer and St. Francis Catholic Church in Carlton. Mary's passions included cooking, sewing and reading; outside of her professional pursuits, she dedicated her time to caring for her husband, her children, and grandchildren.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Richard; and her son-in-law, Samuel Nelson.

She is survived by her children, Deborah (Sam) Nelson, John Vnuk, Joey (Robert) Zabbia and Dan (Kerrie) Vnuk, and Jeff Vnuk, Richard's son by a previous marriage; six grandchildren, David, Cassandra (Kambui) Moore, Michael, Daniel, Jessica, and Ross (Jeff's son); and her great-grandson, Noah Moore.

Services will be held Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022, at St. Francis Catholic Church in Carlton with visitation from 10:30 a.m. until the 11 a.m. Memorial Mass celebrated by Rev. Fr. Joel Hastings. Music will be led by Missy Parker and Mary Smith. Honorary bearers will be Daniel and Jessica Zabbia, Cassie Moore, Michael Nelson and Ross Vnuk. A lunch reception will follow in the church social hall. Mary will be laid to rest in New Calvary Cemetery. Nelson Funeral Care will be assisting the family with final arrangements.


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