Notable Deaths ›

Alene Duerk (1920 – 2018), Navy’s first female rear admiral

Naval History and Heritage Command via AP

Enlisted in the Navy Nurse Corps during World War II and ascended the ranks over 30 years

Alene Duerk (1920 – 2018), was the first female rear admiral in the Navy. Beginning her career in the Navy Nurse Corps during World War II, she rose to the rank of rear admiral in 1972. As director of the Navy Nurse Corps, she expanded their areas of nursing into pediatrics, obstetrics, and gynecology.

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Died: Saturday, July 21, 2018 (Who else died on July 21?)

Details of death: Died in Lake Mary, Florida, at the age of 98

Notable quote: “I didn’t go into the Navy for a lifetime, I went in for six months,” she told Bowling Green University’s news service in 2016. “But I had an amazing career.”

What people said about her: "Alene Duerk was a strong and dedicated trail blazer who embodied the very principles that continue to guide Navy Medicine today," Vice Adm. Forrest Faison, Navy surgeon general, said in a statement. "She will forever be remembered as a servant leader who provided the best care to those who defended our nation, honoring the uniform we wear and the privilege of leadership."

Full obituary: Boston Globe

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