By Jennifer Smola
Sixty-one years after graduating from Mount Carmel College of Nursing, one of the school’s first black graduates is finally hanging up her stethoscope.
June Todd, 83, retired yesterday from Dr. Charles Tweel’s family-medicine practice on the Northwest Side. Todd graduated from Mount Carmel in 1952, in a class of 52 nurses. All were women, and, for the first time, four were black.
Todd, who lives in Worthington, attended Harding High School in Marion, north of Columbus. She considered studying library science, but her school librarian told her she would have a hard time getting a job in the North because of her race.
“I said, ‘That’s not going to work,’ ” Todd recalled. “So I decided I wanted to become a nurse."
Her race seldom made a difference during her nursing career, she said. And she has fond memories of her time at Mount Carmel.
“I loved the nuns,” she said. “Everybody was so nice.”
Tweel described Todd as a “ball of energy” who never missed work. She’s popular not only among her co-workers but with patients, who “like seeing her more than they like seeing me,” he said.
Enid Patterson, a patient for 10 years, said she was sad to see Todd go.
“She’s not just my nurse,” Patterson said. “She’s my friend.”
When Tweel hired Todd 13 years ago, she planned to stay only a year or two, she said, but she stuck around because she liked the work.
Her co-workers said she brought humor and energy to the office every day.
“She’s the only 80-some-odd-year-old woman that has an opinion on everything from Hillary Clinton to why Chris and Rihanna should not be together,” co-worker Beth Shahan said. “She’s very with-it and hip.”
Though Todd is retired, she says she’s not done working. She plans to volunteer at local nursing homes and perhaps at a Worthington library.