Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame August 24, 2017
My husband and three small children came to Arkansas over forty years ago on July 4, 1976, the bicentennial year, to help develop Arkansas Children’s. We were welcomed into Arkansas with fireworks. Actually, my first introduction to Arkansas was as an intern when my husband and I drove from Memphis and back another starry night in June, 1969, when Lilly Peters brought the Philadelphia Orchestra to the hall just down the street. I suspected then I would fall in love with Arkansas. I have been one of those lucky people who happen to be at the right place at the right time. Having a supportive family, a dear cousin and her husband from my Virginia roots who are here, mentored by Dr. Webster Riggs at Le Bonheur and his wife Sandy who are here, three children who taught me so much, and as Garrison Keillor says, “produced six way above average grandchildren,” two of whom are here, an amazing husband whom I do not deserve, and many supportive friends who are here. Being on the ground floor ofbuilding Arkansas Children’s was a privilege, and I owe a debt to Bob Fiser, the pediatric chair for bringing us here as he moved pediatrics to Arkansas Children’s. I have had some world class pediatric radiology partners joining me, one of them is here, Dr. Charles James and his wife Laura, and I met some tireless advocates for children like Sharon and John Bale. As you know, I now have a second career as a writer and an ordained deacon in the Episcopal Church. I have served at four churches and am now at St. Mark’s and I thank so many from St. Mark’s who came.
I learned from medicine to be curious but not to fear illness or death and this has been affirmed in my pastoral ministry. I have nothing but gratitude for my life and only hope I can live up to this amazing honor.