Esther Louise Patterson Hill passed away Nov. 5, 2020 at the St. Andrews Care Center in New Florence, MO. One month before her “104” birthday. Esther was born Dec. 04, 1916 in Montgomery City. Esther was one of two children born to Roy A. Patterson and Emma L. Kribben Patterson.
In 1938 Esther became a registered nurse after completing a 3 year program at the Missouri Baptist Hospital School of Nursing in St. Louis, Missouri. She worked as private duty nurse for one year then joined the Barnes Hospital Nursing Staff. She remained with Barnes for a period of years before moving to Dallas, Texas prior to World War II. During the war she worked at a Substation with North American Aviation as a nurse. She stayed here until notified via radio that the war was over and her job, as well as others, were terminated. Shortly after this she returned to Missouri and joined the staff at a local nursing home, Katy Jane, in Warrenton, MO.
A lack of safety procedures that resulted in a devastating fire at the nursing home had a profound effect on Esther’s path in her nursing career. Starting over as a public health nurse with the state of Missouri in Warren County then Montgomery County, Esther could not forget the loss of life from the Katy Jane fire that could have been prevented with common sense rules and guidelines.
She eventually moved to the position of Institutional Advisory Nurse over 15 counties along the Missouri River. Her role was to educate nursing home caregivers in the state law and procedures on nursing home care. Eventually this position evolved into a role with the Missouri Department of Health Licensure Program for Nursing Homes. She participated in teaching, investigating and inspecting nursing home facilities and enforcing licensure laws.
Esther took a short detour from the Missouri State Department of Health to join the Visiting Nurse Association. Although she enjoyed her time with the VNA she felt compelled to return to the Department of Health and the role in ensuring the safety and quality of nursing home care.
She was fortunate to have had a career that came full circle- she witnessed what could happen without structure needed to care for the most vulnerable of people and was able to be a part of the solution.
Esther was preceded in death by her parents Roy A. Patterson and Emma Kribben Patterson, husband, Richard R. Hill and her brother Paul Patterson. Survivors include one sister in law, Sandy Dayball of Warrenton, 3 nieces, Paula Adams of Wellsville, LuAnn Patterson Mohar of Crossville, TN and Theresa Evans of Paola, KS, a nephew Roy Patterson of Jonesburg and many great, great-great nieces and nephews.
“Sissy” as we called her, taught us many important things in life. She taught us the importance of balancing a career and home. She shared her loved of gardening, literature, travel and caring for their pets. She will be missed by many.
A private service will be held at a later date.
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