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Columbia Missourian

Dona Stiles Gaddy was dedicated to nursing career

By Kate Hrdina
July 21, 2012 | 9:36 p.m. CDT

Dona Nella Stiles Gaddy of Marshall died Monday, July 16, 2012. She was 93.

Mrs. Gaddy was born to Don Bisby Stiles and Nella Michael Stiles on Jan. 17, 1919, near Princeton in the farming community of Topsy. She attended the MU School of Nursing and received her graduate nursing degree in 1941.

She met Herschel J. Gaddy of Fair Grove while a student, and the two married Feb. 1, 1941, in Armstrong.

In 1961, Mrs. Gaddy became head nurse at the Marshall State School and Hospital. For the 23 years she worked there, Mrs. Gaddy managed a nursing staff of more than 50 for the 60-bed full-service hospital. She also served on the Graduate Nurse Advisory Council to the MU School of Nursing at the request of Dean Ruby Potter.

With her retirement, Mrs. Gaddy joined the Retired Nurses’ organization of Marshall and served as a craft booth chairman for the Fitzgibbon Memorial Hospital Auxiliary.

In 2002, Mrs. Gaddy established two endowed scholarships at MU: the Dona Nell Stiles Gaddy Nursing Scholarship and the Herschel J. Gaddy Scholarship in Agronomy. Because of her contribution to the school, Mrs. Gaddy became an inaugural member of the School of Nursing’s Nightingale Society in the same year.

She was also a member of the Monticello Society in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and the Jefferson Club at the university.

She was a member of the First Christian Church in Marshall for more than 60 years, a member of the Order of Eastern Star Marshall Chapter 408 for more than 50 years and the last remaining member of the Christian Comrades Class.

Mrs. Gaddy is survived by her children, Jean Gaddy Wilson of Marshall, Herschel J. Gaddy II of St. Joseph, Mary D. Gaddy of Billings, Mont., and Donald R. Gaddy of Houston; her brother, Bill Stiles of Trenton; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Her husband, Herschel J. Gaddy, and her brother, Harley, died earlier.

Visitation will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Campbell Lewis Funeral Home, 226 S. Odell Ave., in Marshall. Service will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at First Christian Church, 130 N. Jefferson Ave., in Marshall. Burial will be at Ridge Park Cemetery, 804 East Yerby St., in Marshall.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Dona Stiles Gaddy Scholarship, Sinclair School of Nursing, University of Missouri, Attn: Stephanie Webster, S-249 School of Nursing, Columbia, MO 65211. 

Supervising editor is Jake Kreinberg.