At a time when the Beatles were number one, the soap operas Another World and As a World Turns first aired, go-go boots, miniskirts and bouffant hair styles were the height of fashion, and Mary Poppins and My Fair Lady were playing in the movie theaters; Marilyn Becker was beginning her 48 ½ year career as an RN with St. Mary’s Hospital.
A retirement party was held for Becker on November 14th at St. Mary’s Hospital. Current and past employees, community members and family came to honor and thank Becker for her many years of dedication and loyalty to SMH.
Marilyn Navin Becker graduated from Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City, General School of Nursing in 1959. She began her employment with SMH on May 1, 1964 in the old St. Mary’s Hospital and helped with the move to the new hospital in 1965. Becker along with another long time nurse, Mary Watson remember using Cletus Uhlorn’s hearse to move the patients.
“I have done a bit of everything,” she said. “I worked night shifts back when I was raising kids, but they were nice to me and let me work my last years on the day shift.”
“I will always remember how Marilyn came to work with a spring in her step and a smile on her face,” said Shari Kuther current Clinic Manager and former floor nurse. “I thought; I want to be like her and enjoy my job and my life as much as she does.”
Barb Michels, RN commented, “She has taught many young nurses through the generations; not only nursing skills but also taught them how to truly care for the patients.”
“I remember that it was hard during the holidays when mom wasn’t around,” said Michelle Schaeffer, Marilyn’s youngest daughter. “But I learned it wasn’t about presents or Christmas Eves when mom was called in, but about having a mom who was helping a sick person in the hospital. I can’t even count the number of times I am stopped by someone who tells me how wonderful mom was as a nurse and what good care they received from her, I am so proud of my mom.”
When asked what her retirement plans were she said, “That is the nice about retirement, you don’t have to make plans. However, I do want visit my family.”
Marilyn would like to thank everyone for the great party and gifts and her parting comments were, “I really appreciated being able to serve the community all these years, St. Mary’s was a great place to work.”
Marilyn Becker, third from right, is surrounded by her children and their spouses at her retirement party.