Alice Graber started her nursing career during World War II (1944).
After 72 years of diligent service the nurse, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother retired but not is not tired.
True to the core of the noble profession, Alice Graber maintains that “it is always a thrill” to help somebody else.
Out of those 72 years of active service in nursing, the gracefully aged nurse spent 20 years working at Salem Mennonite Home in Freeman, South Dakota, where she retired from last month.
One would think that after her retirement the ever smiling nurse would embrace the time to rest. However, that is not happening. Alice who has worked in about 4 different hospitals in her lifetime is currently a volunteer nurse who visits and feeds patients at the nursing Home.
“She touched a lot of lives. She smiled the whole time, even though it was overwhelming to her.”– Shirley Knodel, Administrator and Director of Nursing at Salem Mennonite Home.
During a humble ceremony to mark the retirement of the great and one of the world’s oldest nurses, about 150 people whom she had attended to in the course of her work graced the occasion.
“I told them that [a party] wasn’t necessary and the director, Shirley Knodel, she said, ‘Oh no, we’ve got to do something here for you. I [had fun] because of all the people coming and going that congratulated me. It was almost overwhelming.”
“We realized one of the children she delivered was now 52, and his parents still remembered like it was yesterday.” Sharon Waltner, Graber’s daughter.
According to the mother of 2, grandmother of 7 and great-grandmother of 5, she did not exactly have the best of childhood. However she has learnt over time in the nursing profession that it is important to lend a helping hand to anyone that you can help in life.
Alice Graber lost her father at the age of 9. Her mother also died at the age of 14. Together with her 2 younger siblings, they were raised by relations.
The acclaimed energetic nurse married Wilbert Jim Graber in 1944. Jim died in 2006.
Alice opted for Nursing as a second choice. She had earlier wanted to be an economist. On an aunt’s advise, she settled for nursing. Who knew that singular decision will afford her the fulfilled and happy life that she enjoys now. It gave her a focus and a purpose to life.