Mary Ann Gottschall, nurse and instructor

March 26, 2010|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

Mary Ann Gottschall, a registered nurse and instructor, died March 11 of cancer at St. Agnes Hospital, where she had worked for more than three decades.

The Columbia resident was 65.

Miss Gottschall, the daughter of an anthracite coal miner and a homemaker, was born and raised in Branchdale, Pa., and Muddy Creek, Pa.

She was a 1962 graduate of Blessed Virgin Mary High School in Pottsville, Pa., and moved to Baltimore, where she graduated in 1968 from the Bon Secours Hospital School of Nursing.

Miss Gottschall earned a bachelor's degree in nursing in 1975 and a master's degree in nursing in 1984 from the University of Maryland School of Nursing.

Miss Gottschall, whose specialty was cardiac care nursing, began her career at what is now Franklin Square Hospital Center in 1968 and went to work in 1975 at St. Agnes Hospital.

From 1975 until her retirement in 2008 because of failing health, Miss Gottschall was an instructor in the hospital's department of staff development, education and research.

She was the author of "Essentials of Cardiac Rhythm Recognition," which was published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

"She was a very smart and caring nurse," said Ruth R. Parker, a University of Maryland Medical Center registered nurse who earlier had worked with Miss Gottschall at St. Agnes.

Miss Gottschall, who combined her nursing sensitivity with a sense of humor, once arranged for a dying patient to have one last visit with her German shepherd. She had persuaded a sympathetic physician to guard the patient's door from the prying eyes of hospital administrators while she smuggled the dog up the hospital fire escape, friends said.

When she retired in 2008, more than 175 of her colleagues gathered to give her a retirement party.

Miss Gottschall, who had learned to play the piano in her childhood, was a classical music fan and enjoyed attending concerts of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

A beach lover, she liked spending time at her Ocean City condominium. She was also an Orioles season ticket holder and always attended the team's season opener.

She also liked to travel and read.

Services were March 14.

Surviving are several cousins and two aunts.

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