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Nurse's work reached wide range of patients

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Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

Dottie Kingan Garland had a long career of helping others — as a nurse treating wounded soldiers in World War II, as a school nurse, a railroad nurse or as a nurse in her home, caring for her six children.

“She was always the go-to person for helping others,” said her daughter, Holly Garland of Greensburg.

“She was the neighborhood nurse,” said another daughter, Colleen Robinson of Greensburg.

Dorothy “Dottie” Kingan Garland, 90, of Greensburg died Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg as a result of complications from heart disease.

Mrs. Garland was born March 17, 1923, in Connellsville, the daughter of the late Charles Lynn and Helen Viola Kingan. She graduated from Greensburg Salem High School and the Westmoreland Hospital School of Nursing, where she obtained her registered nurse degree.

During World War II, she worked as a nurse in Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, treating wounded soldiers, Colleen Robinson said.

She worked as a nurse on the Pennsylvania Railroad, catching the train at the Greensburg's train station and then returning by train at the end of her workday, Holly Garland said.

“Mom always had a passion for the railroads,” Holly Garland said.

To work as a school nurse, she went to the University of Pittsburgh to earn her school nursing certification. She was a school nurse in Youngwood and Greensburg schools for a few years, Holly Garland said.

But for most of her career, Mrs. Garland was a nurse in the obstetrics unit of the former Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg.

Holly Garland said that many women have told her about her mother helping them and their babies when they gave birth in Westmoreland Hospital.

“She was well-known and well-liked as a nurse,” Colleen Robinson said.

Mrs. Garland worked the night shift in the hospital so she could take care of her children during the day, Colleen Robinson said.

She met her husband of 63 years, the late Robert William Garland, before he was sent overseas during World War II, Holly Garland said.

When Robert Garland sought election as a Westmoreland County judge, it sparked her mother's interest in politics, Holly Garland said. She served on the Republican State Committee from 1982 through 1986.

She was a lifelong member of Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Greensburg.

In addition to her daughters Holly Garland and Colleen Robinson, she is survived by another daughter, Summer Friedlander of Greensburg; three sons, Gregory Garland of Unity, Timothy Garland of Bethel Park and Robert Garland of Ligonier; and 13 grandchildren.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, 300 N. Main St., Greensburg. Entombment will follow at Twin Valley Mausoleum in Delmont.

Kepple-Graft Funeral Home is handling arrangements. Memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association, 7829 National Pike, Uniontown, PA 15401 or Redstone Highlands, 6 Garden Center Drive, Greensburg, PA 15601. For online condolences and information, please visit www.kepplegraft.com.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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