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Published: Tuesday, 8/28/2012

Nurse inspired children to enter medical careers

Virginia Kunisch, 1925-2012


Virginia Kunisch, a registered nurse who devoted her career to caring for patients in hospitals and later in private duty, died Friday in the Sylvania home of her daughter Karen Holler. She was 86.

Mrs. Kunisch was given a diagnosis about five years ago of pulmonary fibrosis, Mrs. Holler said.

A 1948 graduate of the St. Vincent School of Nursing, she helped with patient care at what is now Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center until the early 1950s.

"Her love was the nursery. She loved babies," Mrs. Holler said.

She left the hospital after the birth of her second child to become a stay-at-home mom.

She resumed her career in nursing in 1962, joining the Nurses Registry of Toledo, which was the predecessor of home health care.

Mrs. Holler said her mother cared for patients in hospitals or worked for people who wanted private-duty registered nurses to take care of their family members.

During her 30 years with the registry, she held positions of secretary, president, and board member.

She was born Dec. 28, 1925, to August and Flora Hug and grew up on a farm near Edon, Ohio, in Williams County. She graduated in 1943 from Florence Edon High School.

During her break from nursing, she raised seven children with the late Raymond Kunisch. They were wed June 11, 1949, and divorced 35 years later.

Five of her children went into medical careers, with two, including Mrs. Holler, going into nursing.

Her daughter, Dr. Patricia Diamond, said she became interested in medicine at a young age, in part because she liked to read her mother's nursing textbooks from college.

"It piqued my interest," she said.

A devout Catholic, Mrs. Kunisch belonged many years to Blessed Sacrament Church in West Toledo. She later joined Little Flower of Jesus Church, where she sang in the choir. She attended Mass the last 10 years at St. Joseph Church in Sylvania while living with her daughter.

Surviving are her daughters, Dr. Patricia Diamond, Karen Holler, and Mary Macawile; sons, Fred, Robert, James, and Joseph Kunisch; brother, Eldred Hug, and seven grandchildren.

The funeral Mass is to be celebrated at 11 a.m. Wednesday in St. Mary Catholic Church, Edgerton, Ohio, where visitation is to begin at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Krill Funeral Home, Edgerton, is handling arrangements.

The family requests tributes to St. Mary Church or Hospice of Northwest Ohio.

-- Mark Reiter

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