Teresa A. Pellino

Madison - Teresa A. Pellino escaped from the grip of Pancreatic Cancer on Monday, February 18, 2013 while visiting her dear friends Deb Gordon and Myra Enloe in Seattle.

Terri was born in Harrisburg, Penn. on June 28, 1956, the youngest of four children. The family moved to Camarillo, Calif. in1967. She was given the opportunity to leave high school after her junior year, and was enrolled in the Honors Program at the University of Miami. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with her BSN in 1977. She met Tom while at Miami; their first date was Valentine's Day, 1977. They married on March 18, 1979, when he received his official title of "The Luckiest Man in the World".

Their educational route took them from Chicago to Palo Alto and finally Madison. In Madison, Terri and Tom had their two children, Potowatami and Monona Jo, later renamed Mike and Katie.

Her Nursing career began as many do, as a nurse's aide in nursing homes. After her BSN, she worked as a clinical nurse at Westlake Hospital in Thousand Oaks, and at Rush Presbyterian in Chicago. She received her MSN while working at Rush. Terri and Tom moved to Palo Alto, where she was a head nurse at Children's Hospital at Stanford. After moving back to Madison, she became Director of Education for the National Association of Orthopedic Nurses. Terri had a passion for promoting specialty education at the clinical nursing level. During this period, she worked with colleagues Ann Maher and Susan Salmond to produce "Orthopedic Nursing", the first nursing textbook devoted to Orthopedic Care; the book is currently in its third edition. While working with NAON, she received her Ph.D from the University of Wisconsin. She began teaching at UW, and developed an interest in nursing research. Terri became the Director of Nursing Research at UW Hospital. She was given the opportunity to return to teaching by her friend and colleague, Dr. Kim Litwack, and taught undergraduate and graduate nursing students at both UW Madison and UW Milwaukee. In 2012, Terri was honored by Madison Magazine as one of Madison's Favorite Nurses. She was a tireless champion of nursing scholarship.

Terri's love of animals led her to volunteer at the Dane County Humane Society. She spent many days and nights in an old dilapidated trailer tending to sick kitties. She fostered many orphaned cat litters, and would show pictures of them to her students and ask them to vote on names. On her last day of life, she was comforted by a magnificent Great Dane, who spent the day lying with her. Her other passion was shopping, and many times she single handedly pulled the United States from recession. If not for Terri, we'd all be learning Chinese today.

She is survived by her husband Tom, her wonderful kids Mike and Katie, her sister Nancy, and brothers Rick and Ron. She was preceded in death by her parents, Dick and JoAnn Kuhn.

Terri's life with her disease was made far more comfortable by the efforts of her friends and family. While impractical to list everyone, special mention needs to be made to her sister Nancy, who would leave her home at first call to help, and her friend Kelly who was her confidant. Tom thanks his colleagues at Madison Anesthesiology Consultants for their support of his need for so many absences.

The family wishes to acknowledge the care provided by Terri's physicians at UW. Her Primary Care doctor Ann Schmidt, her Oncologists Drs. Dan Mulkerin and Ian Robins, her Infectious Disease specialist Dr. Chris Crnich, and Interventional Radiologists Drs. John Falluca and John McDermott, as well as Tom's many Anesthesia colleagues, especially Josh Sebranek who cared for Terri during her Whipple. A special thank you goes to Dr. Clifford Cho, whose dedication to Terri's care went far beyond his many hours spent with her in the operating room. Cliff, you are truly a hero. Additionally, the family wishes to thank the skill and care provided Terri by the many nurses and aides at UW Hospital.

A visitation is planned at the family home, located at 7613 Farmington Way in Madison. Hours of visitation are Saturday February 23, from 1-5 PM and Sunday February 24 from 1-4 PM. As this is a residential neighborhood, please consider ride-sharing. If you have a favorite story about or memory of Terri, please jot it down and bring it so the family can create a memory book. Pictures are welcome.

After her family, Terri's passion was nursing education and research. Accordingly, the family requests that in lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the UW School of Nursing. Donations may be made at:

UW Foundation--School of Nursing Annual Fund
US Bank Lockbox 78807
Milwaukee, WI 53278
Or online at:

direct the online contribution to the School of Nursing in the dropbox

From Our Partners


E-News Registration

This Week's Circulars