Christian 10

Vincenza Theresa (DeSimone) Vernese

September 25, 1927 ~ November 9, 2023 (age 96) 96 Years Old

Vincenza Vernese Obituary

Vincenza Theresa (DeSimone) Vernese, 96, our loving mother, sister, grandmother, and aunt, died peacefully on November 9, 2023, in Billings, Montana, surrounded by family.

Terry was born in Queens, New York, to Frank and Filomena (DeSena) DeSimone. The second of five children, Terry grew up in a close-knit Italian family. She attended St. Mary’s Academy, a boarding school in Champlain, New York, and adored the French Canadian nuns who ran the school. An incredible student, she graduated high school at 15. After continuing her education at Good Counsel College, Terry became one of the first women to attend Georgetown University School of Medicine.

Originally intending to become a missionary, Terry’s plans changed when she met Gustavo Moreno, a medical school classmate, over a shared cadaver. Gus and Terry married after graduation and had four children. Following a residency in anesthesiology, Terry began a successful career as a physician in New York City. She eventually became the director of one of the earliest intensive care units in the country at the city’s Beth Israel Medical Center.

When her first marriage ended after 14 years, Terry changed medical specialties to spend more time with her four young children, embarking on a second residency to become a psychiatrist. She then taught psychiatry and child psychiatry at New York Medical College and ran a teaching unit at the VA hospital in Montrose, New York. Around this time, Terry reconnected with Nicola Vernese, whom she had known since childhood. Nick and Terry married soon after.

Inspired by the experiences of her VA patients, Terry joined the U.S. Army Reserves at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Terry was called up for service during the Gulf War, deploying to Saudi Arabia as one of the oldest active service members, at 63. For years to come, she would regale friends and family members with stories of watching missiles from the roof of the military hospital or refusing to retreat to the bomb shelter during attacks because she needed to sleep for work the next day.

Terry and Nick’s marriage was a long and happy one, spent pursuing their shared love of travel and hiking. After Terry and Nick retired, their grandchildren enjoyed many happy hours with Nana/Grandma and Pop at their home in South Palm Beach, Florida. Nick passed away in 2005, and Terry remained in Florida where she was active in the Catholic church and in the Discalced Carmelite Secular Order. Terry moved to Montana in 2020 to be closer to family during the pandemic.

Terry is preceded in death by her parents; her siblings Fanny (Larry) Scuderi, Frank (Jenny) DeSimone, and Michael DeSimone; her husband, Nick; her oldest daughter, May Frances Moreno; and her stepson Nicola (Ann Marie) Vernese.

She is survived by brother John (Betty Ann) DeSimone; her children Estela (Frank) Moreno-Bosketti, Linda (Robert) Merchant, and Gustavo (Hayley) Moreno; her stepson Michael (Patti) Vernese; her grandchildren Elise Merchant (Jerry Cedrone), Theresa Merchant (Dean Sibrizzi), Tom Merchant (Elisa Bye), and Anna Moreno-Bosketti; and many beloved step-grandchildren.

Terry touched and inspired so many people and will be remembered for her fabulous meals, her gorgeous knitting, her sweet generous nature, and her loving kindness to everyone in her life.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Vincenza Theresa (DeSimone) Vernese, please visit our floral store.

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November 12, 2023

7:00 PM
Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary
1001 Alderson Avenue
Billings, MT 59102

Funeral Mass
November 13, 2023

10:00 AM
St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church
2055 Woody Drive
Billings, MT 59102


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