GRAETER, AILEEN ELIZABETH, RN, a Louisville native and long time resident of Olympia, WA, passed away peacefully December 28, 2012, two days before her 88th birthday. The youngest child of Joseph Frank and Elizabeth Zinn Graeter, Aileen resided in Louisville's Highlands neighborhood for her first thirty years. She was a member of St. James Parish, a 1942 graduate of Ursuline Academy, a 1945 graduate of the St. Joseph's Infirmary Nursing School and a 1962 graduate of the University of Washington.
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Aileen set her sights on nursing at a young age. She graduated early from Ursuline and convinced St. Joseph's to waive its minimum age requirement to admit her. Throughout her life, she recalled with pride her service in the World War II Cadet Nurse Corps and her demanding responsibilities in caring for wounded veterans from the European Theatre at Louisville's old Nichols Army Hospital.
After the war, Aileen became the head of the maternity nursing unit at St. Joseph's. At the age of 30, she and two other nurses decided to work their way around the country to "see the world." Aileen fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and settled in the Olympia area where she spent the rest of her career as the nurse for the Tacoma School System.
A vivacious, multi-talented and irrepressibly upbeat person, Aileen embraced life to its fullest. She was a talented sketch artist and needlepointer, an avid hiker and fisherman and a tireless world traveler. She taught computer skills to retirees until well into her 80's.
Aileen returned to Louisville frequently to visit family and friends. She was the Graeter family genealogist and the glue that kept the family bond strong as succeeding generations settled far from Louisville.
Aileen was preceded in death by her parents; her siblings, Roy J. Graeter (Dorothy), Joseph U. Graeter (Sara) and Thelma Graeter King; a nephew, Lloyd A. King (Judy); and a nephew-in-law, Raymond G. Cayer.
She leaves to treasure her memory a nephew, Don Graeter (Diane) of Louisville; three nieces, Judith Graeter Cayer of Havertown, PA, Bernice Graeter Reardon (Edmund) of Warminster, PA, and Kateri Graeter Hogarth (Lance) of Calgary, AB; five great-nieces and nephews; and five great-great-nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to noon, Saturday, February 16, 2013 at Pearson's, 149 Breckinridge Lane. A brief graveside service will follow at Calvary Cemetery at 1 p.m.
The family requests that expressions of sympathy take the form of donations to St. James School, 1818 Edenside Avenue, Louisville, KY, 40204, in memory of Joseph Frank and Elizabeth Zinn Graeter.
Published in The Courier-Journal on February 13, 2013