One of Last Surviving WWI Army Corps Nurses Dies
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ Macie Margaret Stanford Coffey, described as one of the last three surviving members of the 84-member Army Nurse Corps that served in World War I, has died at age 99.
Mrs. Coffey died Monday at Providence Convalescent Residence.
A Charlotte doctor, Addison Brenizer Sr., was commissioned to set up the medical unit in 1917 and recruited doctors and nurses from Charlotte, Wadesboro, Davidson and Rock Hill in South Carolina.
The National Organization for World War Nurses said only two other members of the corps now survive.
Betty Cardo said her aunt told her she witnessed the deaths of scores of soldiers during the war and said the corps had to work without antibiotics.
″This was before the age of modern medicine,″ Ms. Cardo said. ″She said so many died from poisonous gas and gangrene. Modern drugs probably would have saved most of their lives.″
She returned home from Europe in 1919 and was hired as a nurse at the Asheville School for Boys, where she met and later married the school’s dean, A.A. Coffey.
Ms. Cardo’s daughter, Nancy Huffman, said her great-aunt ″felt her duty was to go out into the world and take care of it. She thought that being a nurse was the best way to do that.″