National Nurses Week Featured Collection: MS-472, Lovetta R. Blanke Collection

In honor of nurses during this National Nurses Week, we’d like to highlight one of our more recently acquired nurse collections, MS-472, The Lovetta R. Blanke Collection.  The collection was donated in Spring 2013 and processed in Summer 2013.

Here is the biographical note and summary of the collection from the finding aid:

Lt. Lovetta Dixon, undated, from MS-472, Box 7, File 4 (click to enlarge)

Lt. Lovetta Dixon, undated, from MS-472, Box 7, File 4 (click to enlarge)

Lovetta R. (Dixon) Blanke (1919-2012) was a member of the Navy Nurse Corps, school nurse, public health nurse, nurse educator Dayton philanthropist, patron of the arts, and advocate for the profession of nursing. She advocated for children’s health, health education, and other issues relevant to school nurses, such as school nurse certification. In 2008, she was named Outstanding Philanthropist by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Greater Dayton Region Chapter. Born in Harrisburg, IL on Nov. 29, 1919, she graduated from the Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing as an R.N. in 1941 and served as a Navy nurse during World War II. She earned a Bachelor of Science (1950) in Public Health Nursing from the Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, TN and her M.A. in the same discipline from University of Chicago in 1959. She joined the Academy of American Educators in 1973 and held positions as a School Nurse and Supervisor of Nursing Services in Dayton Public Schools. She was instrumental in founding the Southwest Ohio School Nurses Association. She was also a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Ohio Nurses Association, the American Nurses Association, the Dayton Schools Management Association, the Ohio School Nurses Association, the Ohio Education Association, and the School Nurses Branch of the National Education Association. In addition to her two and a half years active naval service during World War II, she served in the U.S. Navy Reserve, retiring at the rank of commander in 1979.

She was a staunch supporter of nursing education and research. She served as Acting Director of Continuing Education for Wright State’s College of Nursing and Health from 1976-1978. In the mid-2000s, she served on the external advisory board for the College of Nursing & Health. Mrs. Blanke and her husband, Bertram (whom she married in 1960), had made financial contributions to Wright State University over the years, including the Blanke Research Fund (endowment) for the College of Nursing & Health. This endowment has supported activities such as a faculty research incentive grant, graduate student scholarly project recognition, and student research recognition.

Mrs. Blanke participated in and/or contributed to several local civic organizations, including the Dayton Council on World Affairs and the Dayton Opera.

She passed away on December 10, 2012 at the age of 93.

This collection documents Mrs. Blanke’s career as a student, naval officer, school nurse, public health official, and philanthropist. In addition to her personal and professional papers, a selection of her awards and honors is included in this collection. Also included are a few documents from her husband’s experiences as an army officer/ reservist, chemist, and pilot.

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