Eileen O’Halloran Holmes

September 10, 1943 – September 19, 2010

 

“I always wanted to be a nurse,” Eileen said to me.

“And some people actually call me Cherry Ames. Do you remember those books,” she asks?

Eileen’s dream of becoming a nurse was a vision that was part of her life for years. She dreamed about it and prayed that she would be able to fulfill her life ambition.

That vision became a reality. Eileen graduated from St. Vincent’s Hospital School of Nursing in New York City in 1964. Her lifetime goal of becoming a registered nurse was now a legitimate result of years of dedication to a goal.

Eileen has worked as a registered nurse for the past 40 years. Her initial start at St. Vincent ’s was in a medical/surgical unit. .

Eileen moved onto a more prestigious position in the Emergency Room (ER) of  Meadowbrook Hospital , now known as NCMC ( Nassau County Medical Center ).

It was there she met Paul Holmes, who was a Correction Officer at the Nassau County Correctional Facility that is adjacent to the hospital.

Paul was a transportation specialist…he would escort prisoners from the jail to the ER at the hospital.

Paul and Eileen dated for awhile, and then they were married…and have been for 36 years.

“I left the ER when I got married and worked as a Private Duty Nurse, Industrial Nurse and Camp Nurse part time while raising my family. The family consists of three children…and now two grandchildren.

When my youngest started school, I became a school nurse at Locust Valley High School . This enabled me to be off when the children had vacations and days off from school.”

Eileen stayed at the high school in Locust Valley for five years, then came back to her roots. She worked as a school nurse within the Hicksville School District for twenty years. Her assignment was at Holy Family School .

“I retired in 2000 from the school district but was not really ready to retire from nursing,” Eileen said.

“So, I went to work at the Nassau County Correctional Center in the Medical Unit. I was ready for real retirement in 2002 and ready to collect a pension..

At least that was my intention,” she said.

“Six months later I was asked to work for the NYS Health Department, doing surveys at the Nassau County clinics for the summer. Then about a year and a half ago, I was asked to come back to work at NUMC in the Quality Management Dept.

I am retired but I love nursing, so I work two days a week. It keeps me up to date on what is happening in my chosen profession.”

Eileen did her share of “MOM” activities over the past 35 years.

She has been a Brownie Leader, a Den Mother, a Youth Counselor, a Cafeteria Volunteer and Class Mother.

Eileen is involved in arts and crafts as a hobby and traveling in a 36 foot motor home that Paul and Eileen bought after his retirement as a Lieutenant at the Nassau County Correctional Center .

During the past several years, Eileen has reacquainted herself with classmates she did not know very well while at Hicksville High.

Eileen said, “Paul and I joined a model railroad club (LIGRS) and it was there I met Barbara (Skuza) Poppe.”

“Then we joined a Camping Club,” Eileen recounted, “and we met Richard Griffith.”

“It is a small world,” Eileen suggests.

“Do you know what it’s like to have a lifetime friend,” Eileen said to me?

I do have one and know the meaning, but Eileen expressed it best.

“I have maintained a life long friendship (since 3rd grade) with a fellow classmate…and I will forever be grateful for this friendship…thank you Janet (Emery) O’Connor.”