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RUTHERFORDTON – On Saturday, September 27th the Rutherford Hospital School of Nursing (RHSN) class of 1964 held its 50th class reunion at Rutherford Regional Medical Center. Of the 15 classmates who graduated, 11 were in attendance for the day’s events.
The day’s events started in the morning at the Saint Luke’s Chapel located on the hospital grounds for a special “In-Memoriam” celebration. The group took time to remember and to offer prayer and thanks for their past teachers, friends, doctors, staff, patients, and others who were an integral part of their lives during their three years at Rutherford Hospital (1961-1964). As part of this remembrance the ladies enjoyed an opportunity to sing songs and play the organ as they had during their years at the hospital.
Following the visit to the chapel the ladies gathered for a catered brunch in the Private Dining Room at the hospital sponsored by Rutherford Regional Health System and catered by the Spinning Bean in Spindale. During the brunch the ladies had an opportunity to view the video produced for the hospital’s 100th year anniversary celebration. The group also heard an update of the hospital’s growth and progress over the years from the hospital’s administration.
As part of the reunion reminiscence, a table was set up with nursing school annuals along with other pictures and memorabilia. Also, information and pictures provided by each classmate was sent to Charlene Huffstickler Jones who compiled the material into a booklet and had copies printed for each classmate.
The ladies also enjoyed seeing the hospital’s in-house museum and the 45-foot mural on the wall located next to the museum painted by Clive Haynes and completed in 2005. The mural is a panorama of the hospital’s history. It covers the timeline from 1870-1925 and features more than 50 hidden objects within in the mural.
“This 1964 nursing class has made an effort to maintain some contact with each other over the past 50 years and taken the opportunity to get together to renew their friendships and enjoy fellowship on numerous occasions,” said Joannie Jolley, one of the class members and event organizers.
She added, “This group of ladies from the nursing class of 1964 traveled many different career paths and pursued various educational opportunities over the last 50 years. The choices and paths traveled allowed them to enhance and enrich their careers, their lives, and the lives of those they met and touched along the way. These indeed are special life memories which will be cherished forever. The ladies truly appreciated all the opportunities afforded them and are proud to be graduates of the Rutherford Hospital School of Nursing.”
In a note penned to the hospital, representatives from the class of 1964 wrote, “This class has included an ‘I Remember’ section in their Senior Annual and it seems only fitting to reference this and to know after all these years they do cherish the memories are still REMEMBERING!!! Someone said that a memory is the only thing you never forget. So it will be with RHSN and our three years. It would be impossible to express that larger part. In the future the memories will come flooding back and when they do, we will remember our school, instructors, doctors, staff, patients, each other and all the other experiences that have made us the nurses, and most of all the women we are.”