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40 years of caring for others

July 30, 2011

Forty years of of serving and caring

By Hailey Rile ’13

Marilynne (Buddrius ’68) Wilson

Marilynne (Buddrius ’68) Wilson

Marilynne (Buddrius ’68) Wilson came to PLU planning to study social work. But a simple conversation with her parents one day led to a different career path. “I called home and told my parents I was in something I didn’t think I wanted,” Wilson said.
“They called the minister. He called me and said, ‘what about a nurse?’ I said ‘okay.’”The Almira, Wash., native subsequently earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing. After graduation, Wilson began her nursing career at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane. It was at that job she realized the two most important skills her PLU professors taught her: how to problem solve and how to think logically. “I remember when I got my first job at Sacred Heart and thinking, ‘I don’t know how to do anything,’” Wilson said. “Lo and behold, I discovered I knew how to think.”

Wilson met her husband, Lewis, in 1969. The couple married two years later and relocated to Western Washington, where she worked at Providence Hospital in Seattle while Lewis attended law school at the University of Washington. They returned to Spokane in 1975 and Wilson entered home health care, a field she says was “right up [her] alley.” She spent the next 28 years as a field nurse and in administration.

“Nursing has been good to me,” Wilson said.

The mother of two and a soon-to-be grandmother, Wilson is passionate about exploring new places and making a difference.

Wilson traveled to Cuba in 2010 through Witness for Peace, to observe Cuba’s health care system. Wilson anticipates retiring in 2012 from her part-time job at Deaconess Medical Center’s Hyperbaric Wound Care Center. But she plans to remain active, and says she may even remain on-call after she retires. Marilynne and Lewis are undecided as to when they will fully retire.

“We have always felt we wanted to contribute,” she said. Wilson also expects to stay involved with Spokane’s Peace and Justice Action League, that focuses on non-violent responses to issues. Community involvement is a commitment the Wilsons share.

“I couldn’t have stayed married to anyone else for 40 years,” Lewis said of Marilynne. “She knows who she is and what she wants.”