Edna Swartzbeck, RN, MN, of Columbia, died Aug. 6, 2014, at the age of 80.
She was born Oct. 28, 1933 in Greenville, Pa. She was the daughter of the late Daniel and Helen Simpson Swartzbeck and her late adopted parents Fred and Sadie Kashner Swartzbeck. She was a graduate of Sharon General Hospital, Sharon, Pa. (1954). She earned a bachelors degree in nursing (1963) and a masters degree in nursing (1974) at the University of South Carolina, both cum laude.
She graduated from the US Army Command and General Staff College in 1974. She served on active duty for three and one half years during the post-Korean era and during operation Desert Shield/Storm, for which she was awarded the National Defense Services Medal and the Legion of Merit.
She served as chief nurse of the 3270th US Army Hospital Reserve Unit, where she retired as colonel. She began her nursing career as an ER nurse in Sharon, Pa., followed by 31 years of service at Dorn VA Medical Center, Columbia, where she retired as the first independent nurse provider with Dr. Leroy Huffman as her preceptor. Her professional nurse research related to falls in the elderly. Her five publications dealt with providing patient safety and the hospice movement.
Following her retirement, she provided in-home care for her dear friend and mentor, Dr. Myrtle Irene Brown, associate dean of Graduate Programs in Nursing at the University of South Carolina, until her death in 2007. Among her many achievements, she was awarded the SC Nurses Association Excellence in Practice Award (1982), the Joan Kershner VA Directors Commendation Award (1987) and the University of South Carolina College of Nursing Legacy of Caring Award (2014).
She was a member of the American and SC Nurses Association, a life member of Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society in Nursing, the Horseshoe Society, the SC Education Foundation, the Reserve Officers Association, NARFE and Ft. Jackson Golf Club where she was the Ladies Club Champion for two years during the 1960s. She was also a member of Ft. Jackson Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star, the Iris Garden Club and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, where for years she was the gardener and served on property, finance and alter guild committees and The Sara Circle. She was passionate about nursing, her church, philanthropy, gardening, birds, animals and especially her two kitties, Eddie and Faux Paw.
Her brothers, Robert, Charles and Clarence, preceded her in death.
She is survived by sister, Elizabeth Molnar, of Painesville, Ohio; sister-in-law, Naomi Swartzbeck, of Greenville, Pa.; cousins, Judy Baldwin (John), of Atlantic, Pa., Dan Burrows, of Clarks Mills, Pa. and Sally Wells, of Greenville, Pa.; and Sally’s daughters, Shelly Ogoreuc (Robert), of Grove City, Pa. and Susan Klaich (Brian), of Sewickley, Pa.
A memorial service will be held at 11 am Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 3909 Forest Dr., Columbia, SC with burial at Ft. Jackson National Cemetery at 1 pm Friends and family will gather one hour prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Edna M. Swartzbeck Scholarship in Nursing, University of South Carolina College of Nursing, Columbia, SC 29208 or the charity of one’s choice.
A special thanks to Dr. Steven Madden and Paula Cox at Lexington Oncology, Kelly Hane at Palmetto Health Hospice and to special friends Jan Urban, Jody Davidson and Patty Branham.
Please leave online condolences for the family at Dunbar Funeral Home.
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