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In Memory


Mary Frances Cheatham Ronan 47BSN of Montgomery, Ala., on Feb. 18, 2019, at 94. She was a member of the U.S. Army Cadet Nursing Corps and worked for many years as a public health nurse. She was preceded in death by her husband, Leonard J. Ronan Sr., and sons Joe and John. Survivors include three daughters, 11 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

Marilyn Thompson Little 48BSN of Orlando, Fla., on June 26, 2019, at 91. She worked at Orange Memorial Hospital in Orlando, beginning in the emergency room in 1963 and working her way up to head nurse in neurosurgery in 1974. Survivors include a son, a daughter and her husband, six grandchildren, and one great-grandson.

Virginia Purgason Cloud 49BSN of Phoenix, Ariz., on April 24, 2019. Cloud earned her BA in speech and drama from LaGrange College in LaGrange, Ga. She enlisted in the Navy at the Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego, Calif., where she worked as a pharmacist mate and member of the Hospital Corps. After World War II and after Emory, she re-enlisted in the Navy as a nurse and served at the Oakland Naval Hospital in Oakland, Calif., where she met her husband, Dr. Daniel Cloud Jr. She was preceded in death by her husband and is survived by three children and six grandchildren.


Haroldyne Scott Richardson 52BSN of Seattle and formerly of Spokane, Wash., on March 21, 2019, at 89. She met her husband, the late Lt. Col. Clarke T. Richardson 53C 54G, at Emory. They had been married 63 years when he died in 2016. She earned her MSN from the University of Washington and was a lifetime member of the Washington State Nurse’s Association. Survivors include three children and four grandchildren.

Carol Wommack Babington 57BSN of McLean, Va., on May 20, 2019. She was an incredibly giving and caring person and genuinely enjoyed her time as a nurse. She met her former husband, Apollo 11 engineer Robert S. Babington, while at Emory. She was integral to the launch of the Babington medical consulting business in the 1970s. She is survived by her husband, four children, and three grandchildren.

Anna Lee Sanders Duboise 58BSN 59MSN of Hackett, Ark., on June 5, 2014, at 91. She was a licensed anesthesiologist and a member of the State Board of Nursing. She retired from the University of Central Arkansas as a nursing instructor and was chair of the Department of Nursing. Survivors include her husband, H.B. Hackett, three sons, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.


Jill Gardner Rone 63BSN of Marietta, Ga., on April 13, 2019. Rone worked at Kennestone Hospital in the Coronary Care and Cardiac Rehab Units for most of her nursing career. Camping, water skiing, and gardening were her favorite hobbies. Her faith played a big role in her life. She attended Sunday school, Bible studies, Missions Ministry, and choir at her church. She is survived by a daughter, a son, a sister, and five grandchildren.

Katherine Black Decker 66BSN of Chesapeake, Va., and formerly of Portsmouth, Va., on Jan. 16, 2019. After Emory, she attended Virginia Tech, where she earned a master’s and certificate of advanced studies. She retired from Portsmouth City Schools. Survivors include her husband, Richard, son Robert, two grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Mary June Purtle (June) Garner 67MSN of Little Rock, Ark., on June 20, 2019, at 92. In World War II, she was in the Nurses Army Corps. Her nursing career would span 40 years, including serving as director of nursing studies at University of Central Arkansas, Conway, and Henderson State University, Arkadelphia. She introduced a novel program for educating nurses throughout the state and beyond. In 1989, she ended her career as executive director of the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. Survivors include two daughters, two grandchildren, a sister, and two sisters-in-law.

Nancy (Nan) Rippey Pinkston 67MSN of Ringgold, Ga.,on March 14, 2019, at 78. After a childhood of moving around with her military family, she became a nurse and started a nursing career of 50 years. She worked at several hospitals and taught nursing at a variety of institutions. She loved working with children and the most meaningful part of her career was nursing in the pediatric oncology ward at Egleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta. She and her husband Theo moved to Ringgold in 2007 and started a nonprofit called Nourishing Children in Catoosa. They provided weekend food to students on free or reduced school lunches. Pinkston is survived by her husband, two children, three granddaughters, and two sisters.


Mona Marie Counts 70MSN of Rices Landing, Pa., on April 4, 2019, at age 70. Counts was considered the “mother of nurse practitioners” as she was the first person to receive nurse practitioner status in the U.S. She advocated for women’s education and advancement and received awards such as the Eberly Chair at Penn State University. Counts served as president of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and as a member of its Certification Board until she died. She was also a certified master gardener and a licensed pilot. She is survived by her husband, son, daughter and son-in-law, and foster children.

Michele Regetz Helmuth 71MSN of Saratoga, Calif., on March 9, 2019, after battling cancer for 11 years. Still, Helmuth maintained her positive attitude on life and enjoyed hobbies such as hiking, tennis, dancing, and traveling. The University of Maryland chose her for its first nurse practitioner program. She went on to instruct its students and eventually became an assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco for nine years. Helmuth is survived by her husband Doug, a daughter, a son and daughter-in-law, and a sister.

Mary Ann Blount 72MSN, formerly of Dothan, Ala., on May 7, 2016, as a result of a car accident. She was a registered nurse for 45 years and devoted much of her career to advancing the nursing profession. She served on the faculty at the University of Virginia School of Nursing and later as assistant director of nursing at the University of Virginia Medical Center. She moved to Dothan to return to her first love, bedside nursing, and to be near family.

Jeanne D. Evans 72BSN of Fort Smith, Ark., on April 26, 2019, at age 70. Evans worked as a registered nurse at the Sparks Hospital Emergency Room in Fort Smith for over a decade. She enjoyed the outdoors and frequented Creekmore Park to visit friends and watch the squirrels. Survivors include two sisters, a niece, a nephew, and three grand-nieces.

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