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Sister Mary Cecilia Wallace SNDdN



February 22, 1931 - October 23, 2022

We remember with gratitude the life of Sister Cecilia Wallace, who was a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur for 73 years. At the age of 91, she died peacefully at Oakland Heights Nursing Home in Oakland, CA.

Mary Cecilia Wallace entered the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur at Saratoga following graduation from Notre Dame High School in San Jose. A caring and respected educator, for 20 years she served as teacher and administrator for Notre Dame Schools in Marysville, Redwood City, Millbrae, San Carlos, and Saratoga in California, and Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon. "

In 1977 a phone call from the Provincial Superior set Sr. Cecilia on a new path. The Sisters wanted her to be Superior at Notre Dame Villa, which proved to be one of the most treasured experiences of her life. "I will never forget the peace among those elderly sisters," she recalls. "There was true happiness in that house." After six years at Notre Dame Villa, Sr. Cecilia served as CCD Director for St. Lucy's Parish, Campbell, and, later, Religion Coordinator for Resurrection School, Sunnyvale.

In her retirement years Sr. Cecilia continued her volunteer ministry of outreach to others and support to her companions in community. She moved to the Belmont Province Center Residence in 2014, and in 2020 to Mercy Care and Retirement Center in Oakland.

At the time of her 60th Jubilee, and looking back over many years, she said, "I answered the call to belong to Notre Dame and I am grateful - for the experience of caring for our Sisters at Notre Dame Villa, for the children and parents in each school and parish, and for the Sisters who have been so supportive all my life."

Daughter of Edward and Mary Agnes Finnigan Wallace, she is lovingly remembered by her brothers William, Robert, and Patrick Wallace, her sisters Beverly Cain and Roberta Held, family, friends, former students, and Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, and by her caregivers at both Oakland Heights and Mercy Retirement Center, where Cecilia was much loved and cared for. She was predeceased by her parents, sister Carol Decarli and brother Donald Wallace.

The funeral for Sr. Cecilia has been set for Friday, November 18th. The Liturgy will be at the SNDdeN Province Center at 11:00 am. There will be a light lunch following the Mass. The burial will be held at 2:30 PM at the Santa Clara Mission Cemetery. Contributions in her memory may be made to Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, 1520 Ralston Ave, Belmont, CA 94002, or online at

To read more about Sister Cecilia, go to