December 14, 2011
Humboldt General Hospital will dedicate a memorial this Friday to employees who have died while in service to the local facility.
The short service will take place at noon Friday, December 16, at the new memorial garden site, located to the east of the Emergency Department entrance on Mizpah Street.
The dedication will include remarks from several current employees followed by a dedicatory prayer.
"This will be a small but important tribute to our co-workers who have passed away while in our service," said Humboldt General Hospital CEO/Administration Jim Parrish this week. "In some cases, employees paid the ultimate sacrifice for their service, and we want to take this opportunity to remember them."
One of those employees whose service to the hospital cost her life was Elizabeth Catlett, a Humboldt General Hospital nurse who was murdered at HGH in 1951.
Catlett, 60, was beaten to death by hospital patient Domingo Echeverria. Thomas Robbins, 85, also a hospital patient, was killed by Echeverria as well using the same 2.5-foot pipe, which the man had detached from a wash basin in the bathroom.
Catlett had been a member of the hospital staff for approximately nine years. The new hospital memorial, The Elizabeth Catlett Memorial Garden, will bear her name; a bench in the garden will specifically be dedicated to her memory.
It was sympathy for Catlett's sacrifice that prompted two current hospital employees, Marlaine Marden and Marsha Foreman, to approach Parrish regarding the memorial. Parrish thanked them for their dedication to the project; the two will each share remarks on Friday during the dedication.
The garden also includes a matching stone pedestal which holds the engraved names of other employees who have died while in service to the community hospital.
Joyce Neary, a former hospital administrator who died in a car crash in 1989, is included on the memorial plaque along with Salvador Avalos Alvarez, an environmental aide who passed in 1998. Donald Jones, who worked as a hospital receptionist, is also on the marker. Jones passed away in 2001.
Parrish said the hospital is aware of more employees who need to be included on the memorial plaque, but said it has been difficult securing death date information.
"We would love for the community to join us at our dedication this Friday," said Parrish, "but we are also appealing to local residents for their help in securing the information we need to include all our employees who have passed while in our service."
Specifically, the hospital is looking for death date information for the following employees: Lola Foster, Cecil Good, Jim Riggs, Ed Braundorff, Ed Lethman, Nirvana McKeough, Don Nichols, Kelly Goodrich, and George Burgdork.
Information regarding any other employees who have passed while in the hospital's service can also be submitted by calling HGH Administration at (775) 623-5222, ext. 123.
Individuals had to be employed at HGH at the time of their death in order to be included on the memorial; the names of those who retired from the hospital prior to their death will not be included. "We are so appreciative of all the hours and planning and dedication that have gone into creating this memorial garden," said Parrish, "but we are more grateful for the years of dedication that these employees have given to this hospital."
He added, "We hope this will be a fitting tribute to their memories."
For more information on Friday's dedication of the Elizabeth Catlett Memorial Garden or to submit death information regarding a former HGH employee, please call the office of CEO/Administrator Jim Parrish at (775) 623-5222, ext. 123.