The "inspirations" for this website are the nurses who touched my life and greatly influenced my decision to become a nurse.
Jo Ann "Jody" Torbett Green, R. N., P. A.
Jody Green, born June 20, 1930, graduated in 1951 from the Ohio Valley General Hospital School of Nursing in Wheeling. In the early 1960s, Dr. Albert Wanner, a psychiatrist & neurologist at Wheeling Clinic, asked Jody to be his nurse. She received in-depth training in all aspects of psych testing and evaluation and a few years later she qualified as a Physician's Assistant. She worked for Dr. Wanner until he retired and then continued her career in the Neurology Department at Wheeling Clinic until 2001. Although she graduated later than my "pioneer nurses," she was certainly a pioneer in the field of psychiatric nursing, particularly since she became a P. A., not common at that time.
Jody was the first nurse I ever knew. I met her when I was about eight years old, when she and her husband, Milton, owner of Green's Donut Shop, moved near my family on Boggs Run. For the next decade I was at their home as often as possible. I babysat for her children, Kelly, Forrest and Leif, but I enjoyed being with Jody and found her to be a wonderful role model. Like her, I became a psychiatric nurse.
Both the Green family and my own left Boggs Run in the mid 1960s. I moved to Pittsburgh and then Louisiana and we lost touch for many years. But Jody and her family were never forgotten and my daughter, Kelli, was named after Kelly Green. Jody and I began communicating again in 2001 when I came across her ancestor, John Stamm, who had served in the 12th W.Va. Infantry during the Civil War. (See John L. Stamm, 12th W.Va. Infantry)
Green, Jo Ann (Jody) Torbett, local nurse and Physicians Assistant, died Saturday, November 1, 2003, at her home in Bethlehem. - Born in Wheeling on June 20, 1930, Jody was a graduate of Wheeling High School, class of 1948, and the Ohio Valley General Hospital School of Nursing, class of 1951. She also earned the degree of Physician Assistant and specialized in psychiatric and neurological nursing for 35 years. - Jody was a member of St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Benwood, WV. - Jody was preceded in death by her husband, Milton A. Green, her parents, John and Katherine Stamm Torbett Joyce, her brothers, Donald, James, Robert, and John Torbett, and her sisters Ruth Smith and Catherine I. Torbett. - Surviving are her daughter Kelly Green Failla and her husband Robert of Pelham, Alabama; two sons, Forrest M. Green and his wife Abe of Kawasaki Shi, Japan, and Leif Green of Los Angeles, California. She is also survived by her sister Jean Ackerman of Pennsylvania, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. - Jody will be remembered in the hearts of her family, her co-workers, and her friends---from just around the corner and all around the globe. - - Friends will be received at the Altmeyer Funeral Home, 1400 Eoff Street, Wheeling on Sunday from 6-8 p.m. and Monday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. where services will be held Tuesday at 11a.m. Interment in Greenwood Cemetery, Wheeling. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Matthews Lutheran Church, 620 Boggs Run, Benwood, WV 26031.
Esta Stewart Brower, R. N.
Esta Stewart Brower, born September 1916 in Fairmont, West Virginia, was the daughter of Ida L. Merrifield and Howard Napoleon Stewart. She was only twelve when her father was crushed, and subsequently died, as a result of a coal mine accident. She recalls seeing him for the last time at the Cook Hospital in Fairmont.
Esta attended nursing school at the Fairmont Emergency Hospital and graduated in 1937. While a student nurse, she was named "Miss Fairmont, 1936"
Miss Fairmont, 1936
Following her marriage to Oliver Brower, Esta moved to the Pittsburgh suburb, Beechview, where she still resides. They had one son, Larry, now a retired Air Force Colonel. Oliver died in 1967.
For many years, Esta worked as a private-duty nurse, providing care for some of the most prominent families in the Pittsburgh area, including Helen Clay Frick, the daughter of steel industry magnate, art collector and philanthropist, Henry Clay Frick.
Another patient was James M. Bovard, a former President of the Carnegie Museum. His father had been a close associate of Andrew Carnegie. It was at this residence that I first met Esta. She was dignified, professional and competent and I admired her very much. At the time, I was a young mother and was working as an L.P.N. Esta encougaged me to become an R. N., which I did, and we have remained friends for all these years.
Esta is a descendant of early Marion County, W. Va. families and I did a page about her grandfather who was in the Civil War. (See Sidney Merrifield, 6th W.Va. Infantry)
Ruth Smith Cunningham
My mother, Ruth Smith Cunningham, only completed the eighth grade in school. But when she attended the B. M. Spurr School of Practical Nursing at Reynolds Memorial Hospital in Glen Dale, West Virginia, she excelled in every area. She worked at RMH from the time of her graduation in 1959, until her death in 1984. She loved her work and was known for her kindness and compassion. -- My mother was like an angel and she was an inspiration to her family and to all who knew her.