Gerst Logo

Sister Kathleen Przybylski O.P.



Memorials in Sister Kathleen Przybylski’s name

may be made to

the Grand Rapids Dominican Sisters.


Przybylski, OP, Sister Kathleen, born Kathleen Ellen Nelson, died on November 4, 2021. She was 76 years old and a Dominican Sister for 22 years. Kathy was born in Grand Rapids, on August 20, 1945, the third of four children born to Frances and Arnold Nelson. Older siblings Peggy and John preceded her and then a younger brother, Eric. Kathy’s first call to religious life was in eighth grade when she became an aspirant with the School Sisters of Notre Dame in Mequon, Wisconsin. Eventually, she returned home to finish high school, graduating from Mt. Mercy High School in 1964. The following summer she met Jerome Przybylski, they married and built a family of five children. In 1992, without warning, Jerome suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage from which no recovery was possible. Three years later their son Russell passed away at age 27. Amidst the heartbreak, Kathy found peace in knowing that her son and husband were reunited in Heaven. Kathy worked at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and later with the Diocese of Grand Rapids. The idea of a religious vocation began to tiptoe into her mind again and she contacted the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids. Kathy entered the congregation, completed her novitiate training, made first profession in 2001 and final profession in 2004. She became endearingly known as Sister Kathy. Sister Kathy was an advocate for women’s rights, anti-racism and equality for all. Her love for all and deep spiritual quests were well practiced through her ministries including chaplaincy in local hospitals, home health care and pastoral visitation. Her final ministry was as the manager of the Dominican Center Bookstore. The bookstore flourished with Sister Kathy’s special touches, alongside her volunteers who nurtured the bookstore0 into a thriving enterprise, much  admired by all who visited. Sister Kathy was devoted to prayer as she entered hospice care. Kathy died peacefully on November 4th while surrounded by her loving family. A woman of unshakable faith and abiding love is surely united now with husband, Jerome, children Samee and Russell as well as her sister Peggy, brother John, and grandson Jonah. Sister Kathy is survived by her brother, Eric Nelson (Mary), sister-in law Shirley Nelson, and her children, Rose (Julie), Tony (Kim) and Jerry (Amy). She is grandma to 15 grandkids, and great-grandmother to 8. She is also known as Aunt Cookie to dozens of nieces, nephews and their children. She also leaves a loving group of neighbors, Sisters and longtime friends of her coffee group. She will be forever missed. Grandchildren: Samantha Przybylski, Caleb Przybylski (Holly), TJ Brock (Sarah and four children), Benjamin Przybylski (Evelyn and two children), Daniel Przybylski (Heidi and two children), Noah, Jesse, Anna, Avery, Levi, Bnson, Gracelyn, Will, Silas and Gideon Przybylski. Visitation for family and friends will be at O’Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst Funeral Home, 3980 Cascade Rd. SE, Grand Rapids, MI on Sunday, November 7 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Please note that masks are required. In an effort to protect our vulnerable population from COVID-19, a private Remembering Service and Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Dominican Chapel/Marywood for Sisters and vaccinated family members on Monday, November 8. Please note that masks are required. Burial will be at Resurrection Cemetery. Memorials in Sister Kathleen Przybylski’s name may be made to the Grand Rapids Dominican Sisters.



Sign the Guestbook

3 Responses

  1. Dear Rose, Tony and Jerry,
    I have many fond memories of Aunt Cookie… many family parties at her home, Hawaiian cruise, Eclipse cruise, and being my Confirmation sponsor. She was a very special woman, a very special aunt. I am grateful for the time we shared during the past few months. I will miss her dearly. May God bless you with comfort and peace, and may God grant Aunt Cookie eternal rest.
    Love ,
    Anne and Bill

  2. Rose and Julie,
    I am so very sorry for your loss. I remember all the wonderful stories that you both told of your Mom. Thank you for the great memories. Many prayers and hugs for all.
    Lori Zufelt
    GR Vet Clinic

  3. Samantha – Condolences to you and your family. May you all be blessed and find peace.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.