My grandmother, Mary Raab, was an amazing woman and I loved her very much.
In 1922, when she was 18 years old, my grandmother, then Mary Ellman, moved to Winter Garden, Florida with her family. They later moved to Orlando to become founding members of Trinity Lutheran Church, which was established in 1926.
Grandma was a very caring person and it was no surprise that she decided to become a nurse. She told me that her parents were not very happy with her decision because at that time it was uncommon for women to have careers, and nursing was a profession where she would be exposed to disease and partial nudity. However, they gave her their support and she decided to attend the nursing school at Orange General Hospital. She loved nursing school and was very happy when she graduated in 1925 and could care for patients at the hospital.
A graduation photo of her class is featured on page 42 of 75 Years of Caring and displayed in the hosptial itself.
When my grandmother gave birth in 1938 to her first child, my mother, she did so in the same hospital. I was also born there in 1957, when it was known as Orange Memorial Hospital. My mother told me that she stayed in the same room in the maternity ward when I was born that my grandmother did with her.
When my grandmother was in her 80’s and admitted to the hosptial where she had once cared for others, now Orlando Regional Medical Center, I would place her nursing graduation photo by her bedside and proudly tell the nurses and doctors her story.
Kathy Boyle, a longtime Central Florida resident , shares her memories of growing up in Pine Castle, Florida. The sixties were a turbulent time with the Bay of Pigs and the assassination of John F. Kennedy but they also held many challenges and opportunities for Central Florida residents.