Hilda Boerhave Roberts

Obituary
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  • "Your beautiful hands and soul have departed this earth to..."
    - jerilyn boerhave
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    - Jaclyn Rouse
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ROBERTS, Hilda Boerhave

Hilda Boerhave Roberts died Thursday, September 29, 2011 at age 94. Born in Lynden, WA March 23, 1917 to John Peter Boerhave, who was manager of several departments in the Lynden Department Store, and Grace Pilon Boerhave, who was a nurse. Her parents were part owners of the Lynden Department Store for many years.
She graduated from Lynden High School in 1935. Hilda graduated with a B.S. and a Master of Nursing from University of Washington and attended Columbia University taking course work toward a doctorate.
Hilda worked as a nurse at King County Hospital in Seattle, WA; she was an instructor and supervisor at Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland, OR in the 1940's. She became an assistant professor and director of the School of Nursing at Washington State College in 1948. She was awarded a National Scholarship by Columbia University, NY and studied "Fellowship in Journalism" and "Nursing Education" in1951. She became an associate professor in 1953.
She enjoyed traveling and toured Holland, England, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, France and Canada.
Hilda married William S. Roberts in 1956 at the Second Christian Reformed Church in Lynden. She and Bill celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary on August 21, 2011. They resided in Moscow, Idaho for most of their marriage.
While employed by WSU, she wrote and submitted grant proposals which earned the University $900,000 from 1968-1978. She had many articles published in the Washington State Journal of Nursing and in the American Journal of Nursing.
During her career, Hilda belonged to the American Association of the University Professors, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, American Nurses Association, Kappa Delta Pi-education honorary, National League for Nursing, and Pi Lambda Theta-education honorary for women, Oregon State League for Nursing Education, Oregon State Nursing Association. She was an officer in all the above organizations. She was appointed to the Washington State Board of Nurse Registration for five years by Governor Langlie and was chairman for three years. She also belonged to the American Nurse Association, Washington State Nurses Association, Whitman County Nurses Association, National League for Nursing, Washington State League for Nursing, University of Washington School of Nursing Alumni Association and the Intercollegiate Center for Nursing Education Alumni Association.
Her many awards include: Certificate for meritorious service and wartime contribution as an instructor for US Cadet Nurse Corps, certificate of appreciation from Colonel Philip Day, Jr. for immeasurable support to the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. Certificate of Appreciation from Governor Langlie for service on the Washington State Board of Professional Nursing, the Mary Roberts' Fellowship in Nursing to study at Columbia University, Certificate of appreciation from President Dwight Eisenhower in 1957 and President Richard Nixon in 1972 for service for the Nation and the National Advisory committee to the Selective Service System, Meritorious Service Award from the Selective Service System in recognition for longtime service.
She invented a syringe medical tray, an adjustable tray for holding syringes and medicines in the 1940's. She took her design to the Washington State Institute of Technology at WSC and it was manufactured by them in 1948 and was used in hospital wards.
Hilda retired from Washington State University in 1982 after 37 years. As the Director of the School of Nursing, a scholarship was established in her name, the "Hilda Boerhave Roberts Scholarship" by the WSU Nursing Department for campus nursing students. In 1989, one floor of the Regents Hill Resident Hall was named the "HILDA B. ROBERTS HOUSE." Hilda was awarded the WSU School of Nursing's Distinguished Alumna Award in 1989.
She was a member of the Moscow Garden Club and won dozens of ribbons and awards at the Latah County Fair. Hilda was a member of the Moscow First Presbyterian Church and Polly Eldridge Circle. She was named Presbyterian Women's "Honored Member" in 1995.
Her love of nursing was evident all her years as she mentored so many women in their nursing careers while they were in college and after they graduated. She kept her nursing license valid even after her retirement in 1982.
Hilda moved to the Christian Health Care Center in Lynden, WA in September 2006 to be closer to her family and resided there until her death.
Hilda was preceded in death by her parents; brother John W. Boerhave and wife Dorothy (Kroontje); sister Margaret (Boerhave) and husband Richard McCoy; and nephew John E. Boerhave. She is survived by her loving husband, William S. Roberts of Lynden; nephew a Bill McCoy, nieces Joyce (Boerhave) and husband Lloyd Tobiassen, Nancy McCoy, Marilyn McCoy and husband Patrick Jones, Patricia (McCoy) and husband Oral Keen and several great nieces and nephews.
Visitation hours are scheduled Wednesday, October 5, 4 to 7 pm at Gillies Funeral Home in Lynden. Graveside services will be conducted Thursday, October 6, 1:30 pm in Monumenta Cemetery followed by a 2 pm memorial service in Gillies Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Robert Woodyard officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to: Hilda Boerhave Roberts Scholarship Fund, Washington State University, College of Nursing, P.O. Box 1495, Spokane, WA 99210-1495.
You are invited to share your memories and condolences in the online guest book at www.gilliesfuneralhome.com. Arrangements are entrusted to Gillies Funeral Home of Lynden.

Published in Spokesman-Review from Oct. 6 to Oct. 7, 2011
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