Bernardine H. Harrison, school nurse

March 28, 1995|By DeWitt Bliss | DeWitt Bliss,Sun Staff Writer

Bernardine Harris Harrison, a school nurse at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School for 26 years, died Friday of cancer at Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

She was 71 and lived at Belvedere Towers Apartments.

Mrs. Harrison, who retired in 1979 from Dunbar, also had worked at a city health department clinic next to the school and for a short time at other schools in the city. In the mid-1940s, she was a U.S. Public Health Service nurse at a hospital in Richmond, Va.

Julia Woodland, principal of Dunbar from 1971 to 1982, described Mrs. Harrison as "the bridge between the parents, students and staff," and as an "unofficial assistant principal."

She said Mrs. Harrison smoothed the way for her when she was named principal.

"She knew everybody in East Baltimore and loved them and they all knew and loved her," Mrs. Woodland said. "Parents valued her advice, and the students were comfortable with her."

She said that Mrs. Harrison was affectionately known in the school as "Nurse" and often did far more than the usual work of a school nurse, including arranging medical care and sometimes buying clothing or lunch for students.

The former Bernardine Harris was a native of Baltimore who was a 1941 graduate of Dunbar and a 1943 graduate of the Provident Hospital nursing school.

She had been director of nurses for the Tri-State Association of the Improved Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of the World, a former president of the Baltimore Chapter of the Epicureans and a member of the Chi Eta Phi nursing sorority.

She was a former treasurer and member of the finance committee of Centennial-Caroline Street United Methodist Church, 1029 E. Monument St., where services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow.

Her husband, Miles G. Harrison Sr., a retired Baltimore City school administrator, died in 1990.

She is survived by a son, Dr. Miles G. Harrison Jr., who is president of the medical staff at Liberty Medical Center and assistant clinical professor of surgery at University of Maryland; two brothers, Robert H. Harris and James Harris, both of Baltimore; two sisters, Elise H. Clarke and Anita Watson, both of Baltimore; and two grandchildren.

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