SUSIE WINIFRED PAGE
August 8, 1918 - April 26, 2014
Susie Winifred Page of Salem Oregon, age 95 and a veteran of WWll and Vietnam passed away at her home on April 26, 2014 attended by her loving nieces Kathy Simpson Okimoto and Joyce Dunnaway. As befitting her role in life as a highly-decorated warrior, she wrestled with death until the very end.
Susie, or "Tommy" as she was known to her siblings, was born in Falls City Oregon to George and Catherine Page on August 8, 1918 - the sixth of eight children. She lived in and around the Falls City area until graduating from Falls City high school in 1936. Tommy gained her nickname for being a tomboy, always hunting, fishing and climbing trees. Even as a child, she was always taking care of someone, but Susie took it one step farther by graduating from Emmanuel School of Nursing in Portland in 1943. She had planned to enlist in the military after graduation, but at the request of the school matron, she remained at Emmanuel for two years after graduation to help instruct nurses that were needed for the war effort.
In March of 1945 she enlisted in the army
and was posted to Saipan, then Okinawa and then to the Pacific Theater of Occupation on mainland Japan. While in Japan she decided to make the Army her career of 27 years. She served two tours in Japan; and in Germany— in the European Theater Of Occupation and in Berlin behind the iron curtain. Her postings in the USA were many: Ft. Lawton WA, Ft. Sam Houston TX, Sandia Base, NM; Walter Reed Medical in Maryland and at Ft. Knox KY.
During her career she received several commendations for her excellent nursing, which she was always very humble about. During one posting, she received a personal thank-you letter from President Kennedy for saving the life of a wife of one of his war buddies. During her first tour in Germany she was head nurse on a patient transport train from Frankfurt to Baumholder. She was also head nurse at a new, groundbreaking burn unit at Brooks' Army Medical Center at Ft. Sam Houston. Her last posting was as head nurse to a Mash Unit in Vietnam, where she became ill and later retired in 1972 from the love of her life—nursing and the army. At the time of her retirement, she was one of the highest-ranking, combat-decorated Lieutenant Colonel's in the Army.
Susie loved to travel. The army afforded her that opportunity, and she brought back mementoes from Japan, Korea, Europe, the Artic, Ice Land, Russia, and the Mediterranean. It also gave her the ability to indulge in her life-long passion for learning, furthering her education by always taking classes and studying. Her retirement years were just as active—raising award-winning dogs, gardening, fishing, hunting, canning, cooking, making jewelry, photography, and continuing to travel across the USA.
In the early 1980's Susie returned to Oregon, making Salem her home to be closer to family. She was a rock upon which the Page, Murphy, Simpson, Robinson and Hagar families leaned upon. Always generous with her time and financial support, her extended-family always depended on her lively wit and common-sense wisdom. Many a younger family member would make a special trip to Salem to sit in deep conversation with Susie and her dear sister-friend and companion in her many adventures, Jeanie Carsey.
Susie was adored by all. She is survived by her only remaining sister, Maxine "Jackie Page" Hagar and her descendants as well as five-generations of Susie's relations that are too numerous to mention! (The families of Page, Murphy, Simpson, Okimoto, Robinson, etc.)
From country girl raised in logging communities to world-traveling adventures—our Aunt Susie was a remarkable woman. Our family will greatly miss her humor, her wisdom, her quips, those gentle nursing hands and that quiet and powerful way she had in caring for her family. Rest assured, she has already reported for duty at the gates of heaven!
Viewing will be from 2:00 to 8:00pm Thursday, May 1st in the Dallas Mortuary Tribute Center. A memorial service will begin at 2:00pm Saturday, May 3rd in the Dallas Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the Wounded Warrior Fund, Union Gospel Mission of Salem or Habitat for Humanity. To leave a message or memory please go to www.dallastribute.com