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Alice Winifred Parker Gilmore 1948
Alice Winifred Parker Gilmore, left, with seeing eye dog Gretta, Captain Powell and an unknown nurse
Alice W. Gilmore of 219 North Center Street, Grove City, Pa. was chosen as the Nurse of the year by "The Nurses of America." The award was a "Pathfinder Seeing Eye Guide Dog," and she went to Detroit, Michigan to train with the Dog for six weeks. The Dogs were trained at "Pathfinder" in Poncetrain, Michigan.
Mrs. Gilmore was a Surgical Nurse in charge of the Operating Room at the Grove City Hospital when she went Blind at the age of 32. During several years at the finest Hospitals in the country, John’s Hopkins , Cleveland Clinic, and 13 surgeries, both eyes were removed. These were replaced with Glass eyes obtained about once a year from an Optical Company in Pittsburgh, Pa. She went on to learn many crafts, and learned Braille. She had a Braille typewriter, and used to write in Braille to me when I was in the Marine Corps. The Blind Association sent her books on records - which she chose, and read at her leisure.
She trained with the dog right in the heart of busy downtown Detroit. Her family was instructed to stay home and not join her in Detroit, so that there would be no interference in the bonding between dog and mistress. Her first dog was a Male called Thor, but his gait was to fast for her, so she trained with a female named Gretta and had her for 15 years. Upon Gretta's death, she never had another dog. Mrs. Gilmore died June 3, 1966 and is buried in Woodland Cemetery, Grove City, Pa.