Alice Dunleavy entered Samaritan’s care as a beloved mother, wife, grandmother, and a caring nurse. She had ushered many into the world as a labor & delivery nurse for 16 years. After her time working at Virtua in Voorhees, she stepped away to become a fulltime caregiver for her sick husband, Martin J. Dunleavy. After his passing, she dedicated herself to giving back to her community. She spent her days volunteering at St. Vincent Thrift, Virtua Hospital, and giving communion at the local nursing home. Though she had retired as a nurse, Alice’s caring nature and sense of service to others never stopped.
Her Samaritan care team decided to honor her service with a Nurse Nightingale Ceremony. On a Friday, surrounded by family and her care team, the ceremony began. Betty Warner, Spiritual Support Counselor, shared the importance of honoring those who have provided care. Betty started the living tribute program at Samaritan 15 years ago, because she saw a need to celebrate nurses while they are with us. She says, “Let your family and colleague recognize you as a nurse and let you celebrate with them a sense of pride and accomplishment at the importance and joy of being a nurse.”
Small white tealights lit the faces of attendees as Alice was presented with a beautiful white crocheted rose and blanket. The rose and blankets are lovely gifts handmade by Samaritan volunteers. The beautiful voice of Charity Jones, Music Therapist, filled the room with a special song for Alice that left not one dry eye among those gathered. The Nightingale Ceremony provided a moving and beautiful way to honor and thank Alice for her lifetime of duty. For her Samaritan team, it is an honor to care for Alice just as she has cared for others.