We Remember Gale Catherine Garner

Gale Catherine Garner- past Member-at-Large Museum of Nursing History

1941 – 2021

Gale Catherine Garner, of Norfolk, was a dedicated and compassionate Registered Nurse, trained in the tradition of Florence Nightingale at the historic Philadelphia General Hospital School of Nursing. She attended the University of Pennsylvania and Loyola University (Chicago), completing a B.S. in Nursing. Caring for others, and empowering women and families was the center of Gale’s professional and personal life. Early in her career she took part in Medical Relief operations abroad, and soon after she combined her personal, academic and professional passions to continue helping others. Gale was an enthusiastic volunteer curator and board member of the Museum of Nursing History in Philadelphia.

Gale began her nursing career in 1962 as a Public Health Nurse in Philadelphia and was soon a nursing instructor at Northwestern University’s Wesley Memorial Hospital in Chicago. In the span of her long career, she specialized in home health, hospice, gerontology and psychiatric nursing. She had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and growth, which she inspired and facilitated in others, no matter the age.

Gale was a pioneering advocate for impaired nurses struggling with substance abuse. For over 30 years, she used her knowledge of mental health issues and chemical dependence to help others and raise awareness in the medical field. She created and led the Peer Assistance to Chemically Dependent Nurses (PACDN) program for the Virginia Nursing Association and was a facilitator for the Support Group for Impaired Health Professionals. Her caring guidance, kind encouragement and loyal friendship are cherished in the local AA and NA community.

Adapted from publication in The Virginian-Pilot from Mar. 3 to Mar. 4, 2021.