Family donates $150K to Okanagan College in memory of mom, a dedicated nurse | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Family donates $150K to Okanagan College in memory of mom, a dedicated nurse

From left: The Miller family inside the new Health Sciences Centre at Okanagan College in Kelowna, Bruce, Kathy, Dean and Brian. Bruce and Brian are holding photos of their mother Mary.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Okanagan College
December 23, 2020 - 1:00 PM

Okanagan College’s new Health Sciences Centre has just received a $150,000 donation from the family of a former nurse who dedicated her entire career to the Kelowna General Hospital.

The Miller family has donated the generous sum in honour of Mary Miller, who passed away in October at the age of 83.

"My Mary would be so pleased and so honoured that we’re doing this for her," Dean Miller, her husband of 62 years, said in an Okanagan College media release.

Mary is described as the type of nurse who worked even when she was off. If the phone rang in the middle of the night, Mary would head down to the hospital to help her colleagues. The family says the donation is a celebration of all the love she gave her patients.

"Our mom was a tremendous caregiver, caring for us and caring for her friends and anyone in the community," Mary's son Bruce said in the release. "She just means everything to us in terms of the love she gave us."

Born and raised in Kelowna, Mary trained as a nurse at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster in the 1950s. After she graduated she returned to Kelowna to marry Dean, her high school sweetheart. The couple had three children together, Kathy, Bruce and Brian. Mary dedicated her entire career to working at the Kelowna General Hospital.

The Miller family donation will go towards a student collaboration room and shared study and technology space, along with a student gathering and study lounge slated for the new Health Sciences Centre. The gift will also support a care bed unit.

Mary's daughter Kathy Hattrick said they chose the student study spaces to recognize that their mother was always inclusive. The aim of the spaces is to allow students the opportunity to socialize and collaborate.

"It’s not just about the book learning, it’s about making connections, getting to know one another and building support systems," Hattrick, who is also a retired nurse, said in the release. "This new Centre is amazing, I was blown away by the level of technology. My mom would have wanted this, to help train the next generation."

"This significant gift from the Miller family will have an incredible impact on our students and our campus," associate vice president of Education Services Yvonne Moritz said in the release. "To see local families investing in health care education is extremely reaffirming for our students who can feel proud about entering in-demand health care careers. We’re deeply grateful for this support."

Okanagan College has currently raised $3.5 million towards its $5 million fundraising goal for the new Health Sciences Centre.

For more information go here.

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