Nellie Katherine Symm-Gruender of Rockport, Texas and Columbia, Missouri passed away April 19, 2017, after fighting a 4-month battle with cancer. Born Nellie Katherine Reynolds in Decatur, Illinois, Nellie graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 1969, already a Licensed Vocational Nurse. She went on to earn her degree as a Registered Nurse and was Director of Emergency Departments for several major-medical centers during her career. During her career, she was named Nurse of the Year by Seton and several other organizations for her exceptional work.
Nellie also applied her nursing skills in her travels and volunteered numerous times on medical missions to Honduras through Honduras Good Works, which provides the only medical care available to thousands of people in the remote mountain regions. In 2016 she reorganized the nurse treatment boxes used in the brigades, bringing her excellent organizational skills to the task. She wrote a treatment handbook for the nurses to use when they are assigned to the “Treatment Nurse” role, while in the remote villages served. These two tasks greatly improved the function of this important position.
She paid for scholarships for several young Hondurans to continue their education, including one who completed her degree and is now a teacher. The young lady considers Nellie to be her child’s grandmother and they held a special connection through the years.
This fund will continue Nellie's legacy of service to her Honduran brethren.