In Memory Of
Beatty, Rita T. who passed away on 10/5/2018 at the age of 97
Rita T. Beatty, U.S. Naval Nurse, World War II and Korean War Veteran, Nursing Teacher, and Public Health Administrator, dies at 98.
Rita T. Beatty, a U.S. Navy war veteran who served on the USS Consolation, a Haven-class hospital ship which earned 10 battle stars during the Korean War, died on October 5, 2018 in Acton, Massachusetts. She was 98. Ms. Beatty will be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on June 6, 2019, the 75th Anniversary of D-Day.
The daughter of Charles and Isabel (Curry) Beatty, Ms. Beatty was born on October 22, 1920 in Germantown, Pennsylvania. She was the youngest of nine children, having seven sisters and one brother. An independent woman, her career began after she earned a Registered Nurse (RN) License from Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia, PA, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps. In March,1943, at age 22, she was appointed and originally assigned to the Philadelphia Navy Yard. With World War II being fought, she was assigned to Farragut Navy Hospital in Idaho, the second-largest training center in the world at the time, before being sent to Shoemaker Naval Hospital in California to serve out the war in what was known as “Fleet City” on the Pacific Coast.
In 1945, after V-E Day, Ms. Beatty returned home to complete her nursing studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She was teaching at Chestnut Hill Hospital when she was recalled in 1950 for the Korean War. She was assigned to the Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland before joining the crew on the USS Consolation, which was the first fully equipped hospital ship sent to Korea. Ms.Beatty was the nurse aboard the Consolation assigned to treat Hall of Fame baseball player Ted Williams (Boston Red Sox), whom was injured in one of the (39) combat missions he flew in as a Marine pilot. In July, 1953, Ms. Beatty was released from active duty in the military.
She was a member of the U.S. Navy Nurses Association and reveled in the reunions. Her final visit with her “group” took place in Williamsburg, Virginia. Many former members of the Navy became her life-long friends. Ms. Beatty enjoyed entertaining friends and guests during visits in Philadelphia, both informally at her home and formerly as a member of the city’s Visiting Nurses Association. Ms. Beatty served as a Pennsylvania Public Health Supervisor for Chester County where she was trained by Mary Blough who became her life long friend. Ms Beatty mentored many nurses during that time, encouraging them to earn degrees. She practiced what she preached, returning to college to earn a Master of Public Health (MPH) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Ms. Beatty put her advanced degree to work in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where she administered the Federal Medicare program for the state before ascending to Assistant Director of Public Health. After her retirement, she moved back to Philadelphia, residing downtown center city at 1500 Locust Street well into her nineties. She remained active in retirement, teaching several nursing classes at the University of Pennsylvania and volunteering as an archivist for the Joan E. Lynaugh Archives and Special Collections at the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, a role that brought her much fulfillment. By the time Ms. Beatty moved out of Philadelphia in November of 2016, she was one of the oldest World War II veterans living in the city.
Ms Beatty is survived by many nieces, nephews, grand nieces, nephews and great grand nieces and nephews who all will miss the many times spent with “Aunt Rita”.
Donations may be made in her honor to the Navy Nurses Association in Rhode Island and the Joan E. Lynaugh Archives and Special Collections at the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing.