Wednesday, July 8, 2009 Mountain Home sisters’ nursing scholarship honors mother
By Sherry F. Pruitt | The Sun
Sherry F. Pruitt | The Sun
Sisters Lota Palmer (left) and Leta Snow (right) established the Thelma Puckett Minton Scholarship 10 years ago in memory of their mother. This year’s recipient is Cynthia Brown, who is holding a photograph of Minton.
JONESBORO — Nursing has been a respected career field in Northeast Arkansas for decades, and youngsters have often looked up to nurses as role models.
It was no different for Leta Snow and Lota Palmer, twin sisters from Mountain Home, who grew up in Jonesboro. Because of their strong connection to nursing, they established a scholarship in memory of their mother. The Thelma Puckett Minton Scholarship was established 10 years ago, about a year after the death of their mother, who late in life became an LPN.
After her death, they thought, “What could we do,” they said. They wanted to honor her memory in a way that would also help future nurses.
“She had spent her whole life doing for other people,” Snow said.
Their mother raised seven children, five of whom are still living. She was the first one to rise in the mornings and the last to get to bed at night, Snow said. And in between, she fired up the stove and cooked three meals a day. She got the children off to school, and she worked in the cotton field, the vegetable garden and the fruit tree orchard, Palmer and Snow said.
After all the children were raised, their mother decided to attend the St. Bernards Medical Center LPN Program. She earned her credentials and worked for 15 or so years as an LPN.
Snow said she planned on becoming a teacher until she reached the sixth grade. But, she rethought her decision as she grew older, eventually graduating from the second class of the University of Arkansas College of Nursing program as an RN. Snow and Palmer have another sister who also is an RN. A couple of their nieces also have entered nursing.
“The scholarship is in memory and honor of their mother for the 10 years they have jointly given a scholarship to a student pursuing additional studies in nursing,” president of the St. Bernards Development Foundation Marilyn Hummelstein of Jonesboro said. It provides $1,000 to a nursing student.
This year’s scholarship recipient is Cynthia Brown, a Blythe-ville native living in Jonesboro and working as an LPN-2 on 3-North at St. Bernards. Brown graduated from the Arkansas State University Technical Center in Jonesboro in December and was notified that she was accepted to the RN program in the ASU College of Nursing and Health Professions last week.
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