MaryAnn Nilsen, 87, of Terryville, NY passed away peacefully in her sleep, on the morning of October 29, after an ongoing illness.
She was born in Brooklyn NY, to Francis and Margaret O’Sullivan. When she was 18, she met the love of her life, Richard Francis Nilsen, through a blind date. Shortly after their meeting, Richie was drafted by the US Army for the Korean War and was sent overseas. MaryAnn found a job in NYC working for Columbia Gas Pipeline Company as a statistical typist, during the war. When Richie returned, they rekindled their relationship, but soon afterwards MaryAnn was diagnosed with tuberculosis and was sent to Homer Folks Sanitorium in Oneonta NY. Richie visited her every week, not missing a single visit over 54 weeks; he proposed to her while she was still at the Sanitorium. After recovering from a new, but radical surgery, MaryAnn returned to Brooklyn where she married Richie and they embarked on a 63 year journey and a wonderful marriage.
Richie and MaryAnn eventually moved to Terryville NY, where they added three more children to their already growing family. MaryAnn devoted her life to raising her family and participating in the church, initially Infant Jesus Parish and then Saint Gerald Majella, when it was founded. She enjoyed drawing and painting, and being with family, and her grandchildren. She planned many 4th of July barbeques over the years, which she cherished, as it brought her family together. MaryAnn leaves behind six married children, Joseph and Denise Nilsen of Livermore, CA, Michael and Diana Nilsen of Brooklyn, NY, Francis and Sheryl Nilsen of Sound Beach, NY, Kathleen and Jim Rieger of Garden City, NY, Thomas and Gina Nilsen of Auburn, MA, and Rich and Marta Nilsen of Tarpon Springs, FL. She also leaves behind her brother Peter O’Sullivan, 17 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
A wake will be held Monday, November 4 from 2-4 PM and 7-9 PM at Bryant funeral home in East Setauket followed by a funeral mass Tuesday morning, November 5 at 10 AM, at Saint Louis de Montfort R.C. church in Sound Beach. Her final resting place will be next to her husband at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram.