The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 21, 2013

St. Joe nurses reunite, look back on days at school

OTTUMWA — One hundred St. Joseph Hospital nurses were reunited once again.

From the time St. Joe's opened in 1917 until it closed in 1971, 702 nurses graduated from the hospital. Saturday night, those who were able returned to Hotel Ottumwa to see old friends and classmates.

"We looked back and 1946 was the earliest [class] we invited because the rest were deceased, too far away or they couldn't get here," said Vera Vandello, planning committee member and a graduate of the class of 1967.

Five graduates from the class of 1946 made it to the reunion Saturday night: Darlene Glassner, Dorothy Green, Mary Jane Patrick, Regina Harness and Catherine Millane.

Glassner said "it's almost unbelievable" that her class was the earliest at Saturday's reunion.

"I was very disturbed when I found out they were going to tear the hospital down," she said. "There are a lot of memories there."

Vandello said this year's reunion takes on a special meaning since St. Joe's is slated for demolition.

"It's of interest to see what state it's in," said Sister Marie Vittetoe. "It's all fenced off. It looks like it's in a state of degradation."

But spirits were high as the 100 nursing graduates shuffled into the ballroom for dinner.

Glassner hopes the reunions will continue, even though the youngest graduates are now in their 60s.

"As long as some of us are left, I think we should keep having them," she said.

Sister Vittetoe -- nurses may recall her as Sister Mary Bernard back in the day -- taught chemistry and microbiology from 1950 up until the school closed. After leaving the school, she went on to graduate school and "never came back" to Ottumwa to work, though she enjoys coming back to the reunions.

Text Only
Local News
  • Pedersen: Spec. Ed. students should count ELDON — If you're going to publish graduation rates, stop excluding some children who are doing well. "In some ways, I think it's a little upsetting to the parents of a child who has a physical handicap or is otherwise [in special education], that th

    April 23, 2014

  • 0424 OTT Pennsylvania construction B&W photo -M -T Penn Ave. construction begins Thursday OTTUMWA — Motorists are advised that Pennsylvania Avenue will be closing for Stage 1 of the Pennsylvania Avenue Reconstruction and Widening Project on Thursday. Pennsylvania Avenue will be closed from just downhill from the intersection with Jefferso

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0424 OTT Lottery addiction graphic -T -L -M Hoping for riche$ — Part 3

    OTTUMWA — At first, George bought a lottery ticket once or twice a week. Nothing big. Spent $1 or $2 at a time. As the big jackpots rolled around, he’d purchase a few more tickets. No big deal, he thought. Soon, playing the lottery became his obsessi

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Interpreter bill approved in kidnapping case OTTUMWA — A filing in an Ottumwa case illustrates one of the basic tenets of the American legal system and its costs. Adem Anota is charged with one count of kidnapping. The charge is a Class A felony, among the most serious and one of only a few cri

    April 23, 2014

  • Van Buren OKs teacher pay hike KEOSAUQUA — The Van Buren Community School Board ratified a master contract with its certified staff members recently. Superintendent Dr. Pam Ewell, the Van Buren Education Association and the district reached a settlement which calls for increasing

    April 23, 2014

  • 'Ride With the Clowns' bike event full of fun OTTUMWA — This bike ride is a joke. No, seriously. The 10th annual "Ride With the Clowns" spring tune-up is set for Saturday, May 3, and this fun ride is sponsored by the Ottumwa Shrine Club Clown Unit. "It draws a regular crowd," said Mark Merringer

    April 23, 2014

  • Youth playing with guns panic Fairfield residents FAIRFIELD — The Fairfield Police Department received two calls Tuesday from concerned citizens reporting kids with guns in the vicinity of both elementary schools. In both incidents, the guns were actually pellet guns but looked real. According to a

    April 23, 2014

  • The most fun you ever had

    OTTUMWA — Not every child's idea will be possible — but every idea was recorded. "Kaboom" project manager Brenna Hull of the nonprofit group's San Francisco office was in Ottumwa Tuesday. She asked students at the Ottumwa school district what they'd like to see in a playground.

    April 22, 2014

  • 0423 OTT Recycle center color photo 2 -T -M Where every day is Earth Day

    OTTUMWA — Putting cans in the correct bin, saving electricity and adjusting the thermostat are not new concepts to the Ottumwa/Wapello Recycling Center staff. "We try to practice what we preach," said Janice Bain,

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0423 OTT lottery retailers graph -T -M Hoping for riche$ — Part 2

    OTTUMWA — We’ve all heard countless stories of lottery winners and losers. The winners, some of whom hold down multiple jobs, have modest dreams for now. One wants to buy a new home or car, another wants to pay of their debts or give to charity and e

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook
E-edition