Cover photo for Sister Dolores Wagner's Obituary
Sister Dolores Wagner Profile Photo
1924 Sister 2021

Sister Dolores Wagner

August 12, 1924 — April 26, 2021

Sister Dolores Wagner, a Sister of Mercy of the Holy Cross, age 96, died April 26 at Bell Tower Residence Assisted Living in Merrill, Wisconsin.

Betty Jane Louise was born August 12, 1924 in Wallace, Michigan, to Fred and Minerva Wagner. She entered Holy Cross Convent in Merrill, Wisconsin, on February 26, 1948 and professed her vows on January 15, 1951.  Sister Dolores was in her 70th year of ministry at the time of her death.

She attended Mercy Hospital School of Nursing, Oshkosh, WI, earned a BSN from Marquette University, Milwaukee, and an MSN from the University of Pennsylvania.

Sister was a staff nurse at Holy Cross Hospital, Merrill, WI; St. Joseph’s Hospital, Dickinson, ND; St. Joseph’s Hospital, Breese, IL; and Director of Nursing Services, Breese, IL.  She was a nursing instructor and taught at Kaskaskia College, Centralia, IL; St. Cloud School of Nursing, St. Cloud, MN; the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh; Northeast WI Tech Institute, Green Bay.

Sister was also involved with Literacy Council, Bay Area Genealogical Society and New Community Clinic in Green Bay, WI.  She taught English as a second language and volunteered her services at the Free Clinic in Merrill, WI.  She also served as sacristan in Holy Cross Chapel, Merrill, WI.

Sister Dolores believed that the most fulfilling aspect of her life was becoming a clinical specialist where she could give better patient care.  Some of her greatest satisfactions included: seeing student nurses pass their state boards; teaching English as a second language; and reducing the fear in new expectant mothers.

Her family of Holy Cross Sisters and associates, nieces, nephews and cousins survives Sister Dolores.  Preceding her in death were her parents, sisters, Ellen, Joyce, Eleanor, and brother Norman.

Due to the current COVID-19 recommendations and in the interest of public safety, a private funeral liturgy for Sister will be held on Saturday, May 1st, 2021 at 11am at Waid Funeral Home.  Father Jim Bartelme will officiate.  Visitation will be held on Saturday, May 1st, 2021 from 9am until the time of the liturgy, also at the funeral home.  Burial at the St. Francis Catholic Cemetery will immediately follow the liturgy.

For those unable to attend the liturgy, it will be live streamed and available for viewing under her obituary on the funeral home website.  It will begin at 11am.

Memorials can be designated to the Huss Fund and sent to the Holy Cross Sisters, 1400 O’ Day Street, Merrill, WI. 54452. A special thank you to the Holy Cross Sister’s Caregivers and Bell Tower Residence Assisted Living staff for their care of Sister Dolores.

Waid Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Merrill is assisting with arrangements.  Online condolences are encouraged and may be made at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sister Dolores Wagner, please visit our flower store.


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