Namesake’s family joins BPW celebration
BY HELEN B. FOSTER
Members of the Nellie Jane DeWitt Business and Professional Women’s Club celebrated the club’s 58th birthday at a Thursday, Nov. 21, meeting held at PJ O’Hare’s with members of the DeWitt family as their guests.
Linda Bedford was chairman for this special meeting and had the honor of introducing members of the DeWitt family – all great niece and nephews of the woman for whom the club was named.
Attending were Myron DeWitt, Donald DeWitt and Susan DeWitt Rowe, all living in the Tri-Boro area, and Ed Dewitt of Montrose.
Bedford spoke of Katherine Haynes, Past District Eight Director and Past President of the Susquehanna Club, who was the driving force to have the club’s name changed in the late 1950′s to Nellie Jane Dewitt Club.
A native of the Susquehanna area, Nellie Jane Dewitt was the first director of the Navy Nurse Corp and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.
According to Ed DeWitt her influence was felt in Washington, D.C. where she lobbied to have Navy nurses made regular officers in the Navy.
The DeWitt family members spoke of her compassion for people in general and she was fondly remembered as someone who took the time to read to her great nieces and nephews; listen to what they had to say; and entertained them in Washington, D.C.
Myron Dewitt spoke of attending her funeral in Arlington National Cemetery, an occurrence that left a lasting impression.
Club members were given an opportunity to view photos of Captain Nellie Jane and also were introduced to a book belonging to a great-great nephew.