Arcadia, Calif. – When the women of Methodist Hospital’s nursing school of 1958 graduated, a brand new house cost only $12,950. That same year, NASA was formed and Toyota and Datsun cars began selling in the US. These were just some memories recalled during last week’s reunion of Methodist Hospital’s nursing class of 1958.
The hospital hosted the former nursing students for lunch and a tour as they celebrated their first reunion after 50 years. Donna Coulter Graham and Mary-Jo Weber Parmenter had been planning the event for months and worked diligently on locating as many former classmates as possible. In the end, eight former nursing students attended along with seven spouses.
Jean Pettus Haworth and her husband Darrel Haworth traveled from their home in Brazil where they have been serving with the Baptist Mission for 36 years. Norma Hoffman Spooner drove from her home in Biloxi, Mississippi, to Flagstaff, Arizona, for her high school reunion and then continued her journey to Arcadia for a chance to see old friends from her nursing school.
“It was a delight to host the nursing class of 1958,” said Diane Bade, director of volunteer services. “I was honored to tour the group and show them how much the hospital has grown in technology over the last 50 years.”
The class of 1958 began training at Methodist Hospital’s previous location on Hope Street in Los Angeles in August 1955. They were the last class of the school of nursing which had been in existence since the early 1900s. The school and Methodist Hospital moved to Arcadia in 1957 after the depression and soon after the nursing school closed its doors.
There were a total of 24 graduates in the class of 1958 and many continued to challenge themselves by furthering their education. Vida Mecier Makowski from Page, Arizona continued to study after completing nursing school and eventually owned and operated her own counseling and consulting business. Donna Coulter Graham of Temple City received a scholarship from the Life Membership Committee of the Women’s Auxiliary of Methodist Hospital which enabled her to become an in-service educator at City of Hope in 1989; she entered a new career as an elementary school teacher in the El Monte City School District.
Methodist Hospital, founded in 1903, is a 460 bed, not-for-profit hospital serving the community. Services provided include comprehensive acute care such as medical, surgical, perinatal, pediatrics, oncology, intensive care (neonatal and adult), and complete cardiovascular services, including open heart surgery. Methodist Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. For more information please call (626) 898 – 8000 or visit www.methodisthospital.org.