Centenarians: Graycie Cameron, Class of 1948

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Graycie Cameron

The first 101 years have been a great adventure for Graycie Cameron, ’48.

Born on June 16, 1914, in Toronto, Canada, as the oldest of five children, Cameron relocated to St. Petersburg, FL with her family in 1927 due to her mother’s health. As a very slight child and young adult, she was dissuaded from following her desire to become a nurse by her father and instead became an elementary school teacher. But during World War II she volunteered as a nurse’s aide and realized her earlier dreams had been right on the mark. In 1945, she applied to Johns Hopkins.

From there it was off to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Houston and then, in 1952, a job as an orthopedic charge nurse at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, WA, where she joined the Seattle Mountaineers and became an outdoorswoman. On a trip to visit a friend in Alaska, she decided teaching at the Sitka area’s School for Practical Nurses was for her. She jokes that she spent two years instructing native students on “the very basics of taking an aspirin.” In 1955, she returned to Florida and teaching, alternating summers between seeing the world and taking side nursing gigs. Cameron has sailed through the Panama Canal and stepped foot on every continent but Antarctica, having apparently experienced enough snow in Sitka.

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