SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

May 16, 2014

A flag dedication for an unforgettable lady

SALEM — They dedicated a flagpole Tuesday at the Brookhouse Home, a Derby Street residence for elderly women that dates back to the Civil War.

It was for longtime resident Amy Nurse, who died recently at 97. She was legally blind, lovable, spirited and unforgettable.

Nurse was a pioneer in her day, earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Boston University, doing graduate work at Columbia University and publishing articles on nursing.

Nurse Nurse — that was her name — enlisted in the U.S. Army at the start of World War II and served in the South Pacific. She worked in one of the country’s first pediatric medical units and continued working as a nurse into the 1970s.

After a few difficult years, she arrived at Brookhouse Home in the late 1990s “with the clothes on my back and $20,” as she liked to say.

She was a character.

She often sat in the sun by a window, greeting visitors with, “Amy Nurse, Army nurse.”

She loved poetry, reciting lines from Emily Dickinson and Edna St. Vincent Millay.

She wrote out her life story in five spiral notebooks, which she donated to Radcliffe’s women’s studies library.

One of those invited to speak at the ceremony was another impressive woman — Martha Ryan, a nurse from Salem and retired major in the U.S. Army who served in Iraq.

Amy would have liked that.

Cards for Mary

Collins Middle School Principal Mary Manning is recuperating after surgery.

About a month from retirement, Manning entered Salem Hospital last week, was moved to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and is now starting rehabilitation.

Please, no flowers and no visitors just yet.

But if you want to send a card, you can reach her at: Mary Manning, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, 300 First Ave., Charlestown, MA, 02129.

Republican sighting

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