When Dr. Mary Roe, emeritus faculty of the WSU College of Education, was asked by her church minister if she would like to participate in his phone-a-friend program that connected church members via weekly telephone calls, she didn’t yet realize her conversations with retired nurse, Eunice Sproul, would have such a lasting impact on her.
“I adored her. She was a joy to talk to,” said Dr. Roe. The two spoke every Wednesday for four years, becoming quickly acquainted. They soon began to look forward to their weekly conversations with great delight.
Ms. Sproul passed away earlier this year, but her kindness and passion for nursing will not be forgotten.
“She was very conversive, never complained about anything.Dr. Mary Roe, Emeritus faculty of the WSU College of Education
She was truly just the nicest person…”
Eunice Sproul was born in Spokane, Washington in 1929 and went on to lead as an assistant director of nursing, nursing instructor, and charge nurse, nurse manager, and more. She was a very proud employee of St. Luke’s Hospital where she spent her entire career as an ER nurse while raising two daughters. She was highly skilled in and passionate about trauma and disaster response. She was also a founding member of the Spokane Chapter of the Emergency Room Nurses Association. “As a patient herself, she had strong feelings about the skillset of nurses and felt that small kindness from nurses make a huge difference for patients,” said her daughter, Diane Zemke.
With her long history in health care and mentoring of nurses, Ms. Sproul’s legacy will continue to benefit the lives of future Coug Nurses. “Eunice cared about nurses, especially young nurses and equity,” said Dr. Roe. “She was a great example of aging but being well read and with the current times.”
In honor of Eunice’s life’s work, Dr. Roe was moved to support the WSU College of Nursing Scholarship Fund and share Eunice’s story of leading by example: “Eunice would say, ‘nurses are the most important people in the hospital.’ She loved to teach and really understood what it means to be a nurse.”