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Class of 1932

Miss Mary Iberis Jones, R.N., BS, Deceased 1988

 

 

A Tribute, Written Upon Miss I. Jones' Death, by Linda Blevins Dudley, R.N. for the 1988 Homecoming Newsletter

 

I started to begin this message by saying that Nursing lost one of its true "role models" with the death of  "Miss I" Jones early this spring. But then the thought "As long as a person lives on in the memory of a single human being, they are never dead" crossed my mind.. And I thought about how Miss I lives on in the memory of so many Stuart Circle nurses, and how many of our actions today are still influenced by the training we had under her direction.

 

Many of us have our special "Miss I story." Gail Moore remembers the first time she made a bed, and Miss I looked at her with that  twinkle in her eye and said "Miss Holmes, I'm glad you have other talents."

 

Many of us can still visualize her in Nursing Arts class with that slightly drooping shoulder, standing at the foot of the bed and supervising our first catheterization or our first enema.

 

She demanded perfection in a less than perfect world.  She was tough but gentle, strict but loving. She was the nurse we most wanted to be like when we grew up. Although short, she looms tall in our memory, and we know she's still looking over the shoulder of every Stuart Circle nurse she ever taught.

 

Below is the reprint of the obituary that appeared in the Richmond paper. Naomi Moore, Doris Kidwell and I attended her funeral. The three of us felt a great sense of that vital link that all Stuart Circle nurses feel toward each other.  For that brief time we were remembering those youthful days and the great guide who took us by the hand  and helped us make that giant step from girlhood into womanhood.

 

STUART CIRCLE FORMER NURSING OFFICIAL IS DEAD

 

Wicomico Church - Miss Mary Iberis Jones, 77, a retired registered nurse and retired assistant director of nursing at Stuart Circle Hospital in Richmond, died yesterday at her home here.

 

She joined the Stuart Circle Hospital staff in 1953 and shortly thereafter, became assistant director of nursing. Miss Jones also taught at the former Stuart Circle Hospital School of Nursing, where she earned her degree in nursing, for many years.

 

She retired about 1972.

 

A Northumberland County native, she was a graduate of the College of William and Mary.

 

After graduating from nursing school in 1932, she studied a nursing specialty in Pennsylvania, and then worked as a public health nurse for the Virginia Department of Health in Bristol, Va.

 

Before coming to Richmond, she also worked as a federal nurse with Navaho Indians in Arizona.

 

Miss Jones moved here to live with a sister after her retirement. She was a member of Rehoboth United Methodist Church in Rehoboth.

 

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I remember Miss Jones' sense of humor and her frequent words: "We as nurses must......"  She had prodigious people skills, and she figured me out in no time. I remember well the mid-term conference I had with her and Mrs. Epps (her assistant at the time). I was happy with my C average until she asked me if I would want an "average" nurse taking care of me! That changed my frame of mind. She demanded we bring our "A" game! Until the day I retired, I often stopped to wonder if Miss I would be proud of what I was doing. I sure hope so! She was the Standard!

 

On Miss Schmidt's weekends off, Miss Jones was in charge of Nursing, and she made rounds on every patient, just as Miss Schmidt did. On the rare weekend days that I worked 7-3:30 I remember her popping into a room I was working in with a cheerful greeting both for the patients and me. She always asked how things were going, and she really wanted to know! She was a great leader as well as teacher.(Linda Morrell, '70)

 

NOTE: Your stories about Miss I Jones would be welcome. Just send an e-mail to Linda Morrell (address below)

 

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