Obici nurses hold 50th anniversary party

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 4, 2005

&uot;We are the best class that Obici ever graduated,&uot; said Mary Williams March.

&uot;Would anyone here disagree with that?

I didn’t think so.&uot;

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March laughed with 11 more of her classmates Saturday morning at Obici Hospital as March and her fellow nurses from the Louise Obici School of Nursing Class of 1955 celebrated their 50th reunion.

Celebrating with brunch, video presentation, a tour of the hospital and cake and gifts for everyone, the morning’s festivities were led up to a class dinner this evening, at which more of the class, which totaled 20, would be attending, reuniting and storytelling.

Shirley Saunders Parker took the unofficial prize for longest journey back to Suffolk for the anniversary, needing a three-day trip from Orange, Tex.

&uot;I think we were really special, the whole class passed together, which was good then and still good now,&uot; Parker said. &uot;We were a very close class too.&uot;

The entire class passed their state boards upon graduation, and they were the first Obici class to do so.

Sally McDonald, who spent 37 years in nursing after leaving Obici in Illinois, Michigan, and then in Portsmouth, said, &uot;I loved hospital nursing and it’s all I ever wanted to do, and it’s probably because I loved Obici so much.&uot;

McDonald spoke of sunbathing on the roof of the old Nursing School building, and of one patient who was caring enough to send chairs up for the then much younger students.

Sure enough for the amusement of all, following brunch, the rooftop sunbathing was a part of the photo slideshow.

With there no longer being an Obici School of Nursing, the day’s emotions had a slight bit of melancholy, as reunion chairperson Betty Brinkley said while taking the tour, &uot;It’s really sad when they decide to tear down your Alma Mater.&uot;

Those attending the evening’s dinner were:

Betty and F. J. Brinkley, Malene and Shep Bryant, Carolyn Williams, Betty and Tom Carr, Virginia and Robert Norfleet, Nell Thacker, Francis Brantley, Mary March, Sally McDonald, Peggy Bradshaw, Elizabeth and Joe Shumate, Shirley and Reginald Parker, Emma and Henry Brothers, Frances and George Edwards, Ann Jackson, and special guest, Dr. Allan Faircloth.

Those unable to attend were:

Ruth Lupton and Mary Rose Enterline.