Deborah Corteggiano Kennedy, ’73
Distinguished Veteran Alumni
With the recent celebration of another Veterans Day on November 11, I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight three Church Home Alumni who proudly served our country in the United States Army.
In 2006, Ruth Taylor, retired colonel, and Myrtle Miller Watson, retired lieutenant, were honored during Reunion Weekend as both celebrated a 70th Anniversary as Church Home Class of 1937 and 1935, respectively. Ruth had served as the chief nurse at Walter Reed Army Hospital under President Roosevelt and made weekly rounds with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Myrtle was on duty when Pearl Harbor was bombed and, at the time of her death in 2012, she was the oldest living female survivor from the day that would “live in infamy.”
A third alumnus who is very much deserving of our pride and admiration is Ruth Nichols Newman, retired lieutenant colonel, Class of 1968. Ruth has had many accomplishments in her career, namely being the first female commissioned officer and nurse in the Michigan National Guard, first chief nurse of the 207th Surgical Hospital, Detroit, awarded a Bronze Star during Desert Storm for her leadership in Saudi Arabia, and most notably was the first and only female to be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross by the Detroit Armory Corporation. Ruth is also a charter member of The Women in Military Service for America, Arlington, VA.
Special Donation from Class of ’58
This past May, we lost a beloved member of the Class of 1958, Phyllis Bannister Abendschoen. I was notified almost immediately after Phyllis’s passing by one of her fellow classmates, Kay Dietz Dicken. It seems that the Class of 1958 had been saving money in a credit union account that they wanted specifically to be given to the Freda Creutzburg Memorial Scholarship to help individuals obtain their nursing education. The fund of approximately $473 was sent in its entirety to the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing to be added to the Creutzburg Scholarship. In addition, vintage nurse’s uniforms and caps worn by Phyllis were donated by her family to the Church Home Archive collection.
White Coat Drive a Success
Thank you to all CHH alumni who reached out to support the Annual White Coat Drive for incoming students. If you donated, you got a real thrill watching and listening to your recipient offer thanks and gratitude in the video messages!
Deborah Corteggiano Kennedy, ’73, is Church Home and Hospital alumni president.
Joan Roth Marshall, ’53
Mary Lu Jackson Marletta, ’56
Phyllis Bannister Abendschoen, ’58
Cecelia Moomau Bobo, ’58