Veronica Mary Kilpela, 79, of Andover, MN (originally of Duluth), loving wife and mother, died peacefully surrounded by her family, of complications from cancer on October 25, 2023.
Veronica selflessly cared for countless people over 45 years of her life as a registered nurse, a vocation through which she expressed her gentle, kind and compassionate nature. Her legacy lives on in the nurses she educated as a clinical instructor of maternity and newborn nursing at St. Luke’s School of Nursing in Duluth, and in the women and infants she served as a public health nurse for the St. Louis County Health Department.
She was born Veronica Mary Bernard in Duluth on July 13, 1944, the third child and only daughter of Henry and Catherine (Egan) Bernard. A devout Catholic her entire life, her faith was formed at St. James School and Cathedral High School. She graduated from the College of St. Scholastica in 1966 with a B.S. degree in Nursing. As a nursing student from 1962 to 1966, she worked as a private duty nurse in Detroit, Michigan and a nurse’s aide in the nursery at St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth.
Veronica met her future husband, Raymond William Cross of DeTour, Michigan, in 1962 and they married in 1966 at St. James Catholic Church. They resided near Detroit, where their children were born, and where Veronica worked for Wayne County as a public health nurse and a geriatric charge nurse at Lourdes Nursing Home in Pontiac. After moving back to Duluth in 1976, the family attended St. Benedict’s church and lived near Chester Bowl Park. After 6 years at St. Luke’s School of Nursing, Veronica joined the St. Louis County Health Department in 1982 until her retirement in 2007. She especially loved her last role as supervisor of the Nurse Family Partnership program.
Veronica was a member of the Beta Iota chapter of Beta Sigma Phi in Duluth and Preceptor Pi Chapter in Coon Rapids after she moved to Andover, Minnesota in 2011 with her husband Paul Kilpela, whom she married in 2007. She attended St. Stephen’s church in Anoka and was very dedicated to her husband and her children, Annette and Darrin. She hosted beautiful and lovingly prepared family dinners often. She adored her cats and enjoyed gardening, embroidery and feeding the birds in her backyard. She volunteered at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids and St. Stephens School in Anoka.
Veronica is survived by her husband, Paul Kilpela, her children Annette (Brian) Raab and Darrin (Pam) Cross, stepdaughters Corrine (Del) Boyer and Tina (Chuck) Rosenbush, brothers Paul Bernard of Duluth and Francis Bernard of Rice Lake, Wisconsin, and many nieces, nephews and step-grandchildren.
Her family wishes to thank the caregivers at Mercy and Unity Hospitals, Minnesota Oncology, and Minneapolis Radiation Oncology.
Visitation at 10:00 a.m. at St. James Catholic Church in Duluth on Thursday, November 16, followed immediately by Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. Burial will be at Oneota Cemetery. Arrangement by Cremation Society of Minnesota, Duluth.
A Memorial Tree was planted for Veronica
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Cremation Society Of Minnesota | Duluth