In September, 1957, I started nursing school at Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Nursing in Baltimore, Maryland. It was an eventful three years. I wouldn't trade it for anything, but I wouldn't go thru it again either. Bob and I started dating in April, 1958, and married October 25, 1959. We were married 10 days when he left for Ludwigsburg, Germany. ( I don't recommend it as a way to start off a marriage, but we did okay.) I had 10 more months of school, so I stayed stateside to graduate in September, 1960, and thirty days later was on my way to Germany. We did a lot of traveling in Europe during the time we were there. It was a very good experience, but a little scarey at first. You are in a strange country with people that speak a different language, have different customs, and you know only one person. Alan, our son, was born while we were in Germany. We came back to the States November, 1960, and went to Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, where our daughter, Robin was born. I started working weekend nights there. That was a cultural shock - I went from a huge teaching hospital with doctors and nursing supervisor around all the time to a little 50 bed hospital and being the only nurse in the entire place. Bob left for Viet Name in June of 1965 and the kids and I moved back with my parents until he returned a year later. I worked at Mercy during that time and again when he went to Germany. We were stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, until August of 1967 when Bob went back to Germany for a year and the kids and I went back to Clear Lake. When Bob returned in October, 1968, he retired from the Army and we moved to Leavenworth. We had friends, military facilities, and jobs here. I went back to work at one of the hospitals here in town until 1971 when I became a private scrub, office nurse, and physician's assistant for a surgeon. Dr. Ken retired in 1984 and I started working in the Operating Room at Providence Hospital in Kansas City. I was one of the nurses who scrubbed on open heart surgeries. Bob was diagnosed with Parkinson Disease in 1988, so when a job became open in the operating room at the VA hospital here in Leavenworth, I jumped at the chance and have never regretted making the change. I have made some wonderful friends. The change gave me more time off and more freedom to be with Bob.. Bob died April 16, 2001, after 7 months in the VA nursing home. I miss him still. I retired January 31, 2005. Since then I have been working 2 to 3 days a week with the surgical residents and medical students from Kansas University Medical Center while they are at the VA. My job is to keep track of the patients that are being readied for surgery and help the residents work their way thru the system. It is a challenge, keeps me young, and, on some days, makes me old. I tell the Chief of Surgery that I will keep working as long as I enjoy it, but when it stops being fun, I quit!!. He keeps telling me that I have to work for 5 more years. He has been telling me that for over a year now.
Robin and Kevin have been married for 18 years and have 2 children - Steven (17) and Emily (15). Alan and Pam have been married 10 years and have Haley (8). I am a "good grandma" and attend most of the kids activities. The last week of April and the first 2 weeks of May were kind of rough - 2 choir concerts, 1 - 3 hour play, 1 piano recital, 1 baseball game, and to top off the month 2 dance recitals on the same day. I was about "Grandmaed" out after that. I am very fortunate to have all of them within a 15 mile radius of my home, so I get to see a lot of them. Now that Steven is driving, he and his friends show up at my house periodically. The other night they came over to skate board in my basement. I haven't been down there since, but I didn't hear any crashes, so I am sure the basement is still in one piece.
I have belonged to the Association of Operating Room Nurses of Greater Kansas City for a number of years and have been an active member. I have held the offices of Treasurer, Vice President, President-Elect, President, and Past President. This May I was very honored to be elected by my peers as Perioperative Nurse of the Year of the Greater Kansas City AORN.
At present I am the secretary of the Shenandoah Owners Association. When the development is complete, we will have about 280 homes. I have two more years at this and then somebody else can do it.
I have kept in contact with Mary Kruse and Ed Buttleman, in the last few years.
Which ones would I like to keep in contact with - all of you.
My hobbies: I like to read, do crafts, play Bunco, do things with the grandchildren and children, work in the flower beds, listen to music, travel, etc. I belong to a Bunco group that meets once a month and a cross stitch group that meets once a week, as well as AORN.
What was my favorite song of 1957 or earlier: I don't think I have a favorite. I like a number of different songs from that era. I think most of the rock and roll songs. Steven is absolutely amazed that I like some of his songs. He brags on me to his friends. How about "Rock around the Clock"'