Cover photo for Bernadette Catherine Mary (Sipe)  Nolan's Obituary
Bernadette Catherine Mary (Sipe)  Nolan Profile Photo

Bernadette Catherine Mary (Sipe) Nolan

September 28, 1944 — December 24, 2023


Bernadette Catherine Mary (Sipe) Nolan

Bernadette Catherine Mary (Sipe) Nolan was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on September 28, 1944 to parents, Walt and Elizabeth (Altendorf) Sipe. She was welcomed into heaven on December 24, 2023 in Blaine, Minnesota.

Bernadette’s father Walt owned Sipe and Gray Oil Company for over 60 years and had eleven stations around the metro area. He spoiled Bernadette and loved his family dearly. Bernadette’s mother, Elizabeth, was a homemaker with ten children to care for. She was kind and gentle and never spoke badly of anyone.

The oldest of the ten Sipe children was Dr. James Sipe of Coon Rapids. He helped start Mercy Hospital. Bernadette babysat his children, and he was her doctor growing up.

Sister Joan Sipe was a St. Joseph nun for 66 years. She loved children and was a principal at St. Raphael School in Crystal and St. Anne in Wabasso. Sr. Joan had great depth in her soul.

Margaret “Marge” Rosch was a second mother to Bernadette. She was a very classy woman who loved diamonds. Marge worked at St. Therese Nursing Home and did the work of two women. Everyone loved Marge.

Richard Sipe helped purify the Catholic Church in the area of abuse over 40 years; his role was highlighted in the movie ‘Spotlight’. He was artistic, including his needlepoint of the Last Judgement; he was humble and persevered in his endeavors. Richard was also an author, penning twelve books and two books of poems.

Tom Sipe continued their father’s legacy of Sipe and Gray Oil, which is now Sipe in Robbinsdale. He was also fire chief for 17 years and is extremely generous in his community.

John Sipe was a salesman for Sadler for many years. He is generous, lovable and knowledgeable. He received the Cornerstone Award from St. John’s University (alma mater for four of the Sipe boys) on October 24, 2018.

Michael ‘Mike’ Sipe, the ‘little’ brother, was a financial advisor and owner for AIS in St. Cloud. His greatest love was photography; he had a way to make pictures come alive. Mike purchased land in Vermont and built a studio for his photography along with his home. He is a kind, gentle and quiet man.

Elizabeth met a man in England; they married and moved to Italy, where she still resides. She is a Montessori teacher and is very sweet and gentle.

The youngest Sipe girl, Rosie, handled marketing for the College of St. Catherine. She is retired and is a very smart, gentle woman.

Bernadette grew up in Robbinsdale, where she lived for 24 years. She married the love of her life, Thomas Jerome Nolan Sr., on October 19, 1968. Together they raised five children: Elizabeth, Rosemary, Thomas Jr., William and Catherine. Bernadette also has a second son in Cole, her oldest grandson. Bernadette’s grandchildren – Cole, Haley, Nico, Riley, Avery, Zoey, Aliyah, Anthony, Kamden, Santino, Amelia. Kaiah and Kyler – are her beautiful angels from God. She wants her grandchildren to know that they are all loved, that she is very proud of them and they all have wonderful parents. Bernadette’s wishes for her grandchildren is that they believe in God and go to heaven. Bernadette had three best friends who all died in the same year: Kathy Sayer, Mary Verkennes and Judy Berg. She has one surviving best friend, Mary Jean Munn Egan.

All of the Sipe children enjoyed celebrating their brother Dick’s life at his funeral service in September 2018. The family reunion was a time to share stories, remember their childhoods and talk about their families. All five Sipe girls have taken on their mother’s traits of kindness and gentleness. Bernadette’s sisters-in-law are all smart, sweet and good women. All ten Sipe children grew up to be strong, courageous and loving, and all have God within their hearts.

In Bernadette’s simple life, she brought forth lots of love for her family. She was always loved, was strong, was courageous and she persevered, which is one of the greatest things to her. It was important in her simple life to have her family’s history recorded, and she wanted people to know that it’s so important to love God and be kind; when we are kind to others, kindness comes back to us always. Bernadette believed that as we grow up, the greatest thing a person can do is to be selfless, think of others – this is the secret of life.

God is great and should be celebrated. From suffering, joy does come. Jesus and the Blessed Mother, please take Bernadette’s hand in heaven and walk her down the path to eternal glory. Bernadette believes greatly in angels and saints – St. Therese, St. Francis, St. Rita, St. Gerard, St. Jude and St. Augustine. Angels are with you from birth through death, when they take you to God. You can be someone’s angel with a smile and kind word. Never give up hope, there is always the angel around the corner.

With love, Bernadette Catherine Mary (Sipe) Nolan

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:00 AM Friday, January 5, 2024 at the Church of St. Raphael, 7301 Bass Lake Rd, Crystal, with visitation one hour prior to Mass in the East Gathering Space.  Interment at Gethsemane Cemetery.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bernadette Catherine Mary (Sipe) Nolan, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Friday, January 5, 2024

9:00 - 10:00 am (Central time)

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Mass of Christian Burial

Friday, January 5, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Church of St. Raphael (Bass Lake Rd)

7301 Bass Lake Road, New Hope, MN 55428

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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