North Huntingdon nurse made lasting impression on hospital staff, patients
Generations of staff and patients at Forbes Hospital came to know the kindness and caring of nurse Joan Saversky — a regard she also showed for others when she wasn’t on duty.
“There was a certain loving care she gave to us kids and to all the patients she saw over the years,” said her youngest son, Keith. “She let you know that you’re going to get better.
“Nursing was one of the things she was drawn to because she was good with people, and she knew how to care for them. She came from a big family, and she always put everybody else before herself.”
Joan (Rothrauff) Saversky of North Huntingdon, died Thursday, May 16, 2019, following a battle with cancer. She was 67.
Born Oct. 30, 1951, in Pittsburgh, she was a daughter of the late Leroy Henry Rothrauff and the former Agnes Josephine Holland.
After graduating from nursing school in Indiana County in 1971, Ms. Saversky began her career as a licensed practical nurse at the former Pittsburgh Hospital in Homewood.
She joined the staff of Forbes Hospital when it opened in 1978 on Haymaker Road in Monroeville and remained there for the rest of her life. She scaled back to a part-time schedule when her children were younger.
“Everybody knew her name,” her son said. “Anyone who worked at that hospital, if they didn’t know her, they knew of her.
“She was almost like everybody’s mother,” said her sister, Rosemarie Catley. “When new staff members would start, she would mentor them through.”
For the past several years, Ms. Saversky worked with those undergoing outpatient surgery at Forbes.
“She was there to make sure you were as comfortable as you could be,” her son said. “She was the last person you saw before you went into surgery and the first person you saw when you came out.”
Former patients have offered testimonials, recalling her smiling face years after they were under her care, he said.
Extended family members turned to her when someone was ailing.
“We all called Joan,” said her sister, Carol Robinson. “She was the nurse to go to. She was happy to take care of everybody.”
A devout Catholic, Ms. Saversky made french fries from scratch for festivals at her parish, St. Agnes Church in North Huntingdon. She enjoyed playing bingo and taking beach vacations with her family.
A skilled baker, she helped supply a variety of cookies for family get-togethers and milestones.
“I always fancied her lady locks,” her son said.
In addition to her parents, Ms. Saversky was preceded in death by two sisters. She is survived by three sons, Joe (Kelly) of Wexford, Dan (Rhonda) of Ligonier and Keith (Ali) of Jersey City; eight grandchildren; three siblings; numerous nieces and nephews.
Friends will be welcomed from 2 to 8 p.m. Monday at Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home, 1111 Monroeville Ave., Turtle Creek. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Agnes Church.
Ms. Saversky will be laid to rest in St. Joseph Cemetery.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .