Mary Albina “Bee” Stefani Lucich

July 17, 1916 – May 19, 2015

Mary Lucich, a life-long resident of Merced, was born July 17, 1916, in Merced, California, to Carlo and Annunziata (Garfagnoli) Stefani, and passed away peacefully at 98 years old on May 19, 2015, with her loving family by her side. The daughter of Italian immigrants from Marlia, Lucca, (Tuscany region), Mary realized the American Dream. Growing up on 20 acres in the Franklin district, where her father farmed tomatoes and sweet potatoes, Mary attended Franklin Grammar School, and Merced High School, graduating in 1934. After working at various jobs in Merced, including the cannery and Hartman’s Department Store, Mary pursued her dream of becoming a registered nurse. She received her R.N. degree in 1947 from Mercy School of Nursing in Sacramento, CA, as a member of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps.

Married on April 11, 1948, to John Anthony Lucich, a local businessman originally from Sacramento, proudly they raised their four children together. Once her children all reached school age, Mary returned to nursing as a very dedicated and passionate home health care nurse with the Merced County Public Health Department, always giving her full attention to caring for her patients. She retired in 1981.

A life-long participant of community involvement, after retirement Mary continued as a volunteer nurse. In 1936 she became a member of the Italian Catholic Federation; a charter member in 1959 of the Community Concert Series (Merced Symphony Association) and a board member for many years; and a member of and docent for the Merced County Historical Society, receiving their Letus Wallace Award. As a faithful member of the Our Lady of Merced/St. Patrick’s Parish, for years she taught catechism classes. Recognized by the Merced County Old-Timers Association, additionally, she was a member of: American Legion Ladies Auxiliary, Native Daughters of the Golden West, the Druids, OLM Mother’s Club, and was instrumental in organizing several Franklin School Reunions.

For all her accomplishments, however, Mary placed the highest importance in her time spent with family, including her "chosen children" as she referred to them, and European relatives. Her family defined her and she extended her welcoming, warm heart, selflessness, unconditional acceptance, and love to all while igniting her love of travel and sense of adventure in us.


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Stefani Lucich
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Cadet Nurse
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Mercy School of Nursing, Sacramento, California
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Portrait of Mary Lucich
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