Centenarian nurses toes at podiatrist's office
Nurses cover many a mile caring for patients walking up and down long hospital hallways.
Miriam Ritter, a 1934 graduate of the former Allentown Hospital School of Nursing, has covered quite a few miles in her 100 years.
The retired nurse, who recently visited Dr. Raymond Fritz's Allentown Family Foot Care, was born Feb. 28, 1912, in Lower Saucon Township, just two hours shy of being a Leap Year baby.
Ritter recalled doing graduate work at Columbia University, riding the train to the school in New York City.
"That was a wondeful experience," Ritter said. It was right along the river.
"That was a beautiful area.
During her nursing career, Ritter did mostly home care.
"But, I also worked for Dr. John Wenner in his lab in the hospital," she explained. "I was doing private duty. I enjoyed that, but Wenner came after me to work for him."
She worked for Wenner eight years, hinting the doctor could be quite a taskmaster.
"Today, they [nurses] wouldn't work for him," Ritter said. "They would quit!"
Ritter, whose maiden name is Unangst, met her husband, Robert V. Ritter Sr., at her nursing school's annual formal dance at a hotel at Sixth and Hamilton streets, Allentown.
"She and a classmate married brothers," daughter-in-law Susan Ritter explained. "Her classmate's boyfriend got his brother, Robert, to go to the dance.
The Ritters have one son, Robert V. Jr.
He and Susan have two children, Sara, a 2001 graduate of Parkland High School, and Robert V. III, a 1996 Parkland graduate.
Today, Ritter lives in South Whitehall with her son and daughter-in-law, who make sure her feet are well cared for and can take her wherever she wants to go.
Ritter enjoyed discussing her nursing career and life with The Press.
"I feel good when I have people to talk to," she said smiling.