Josie Mehta, registered nurse

She had worked at VA medical center in Baltimore

September 17, 2012|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Josie Mehta, a retired registered nurse who had worked at the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center, died Sept. 1 of cancer at her Nottingham home. She was 61.

The daughter of an insurance man and a homemaker, Josie Dela Cruz was born and raised in Virac, the Philippines, where she graduated from high school.

After earning her nursing degree in 1972 from the University of Santo Thomas in the Philippines, she came to Baltimore the next year when she took a nursing job at the old Church Home Hospital.

She subsequently worked at North Charles General Hospital and what is now Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, before joining the staff of the veterans hospital on Greene Street in the 1980s.

During her nursing career, Mrs. Mehta had worked in intensive care, the emergency room, and the neo-natal and burn units. After being diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome in 1998, Mrs. Mehta retired from nursing.

"She said, 'Life is tough, but you have to be tougher,' " said her husband of 34 years, Uday Mehta, a mechanical engineer.

"She knew a tough life. She was left paralyzed from Guillain-Barre syndrome, but she did not give up. She regularly went to the gym in a wheelchair, used a Hoyer Lift to get into the pool so she could swim," said Mr. Mehta. "She walked with crutches and braces, and lifted weights. She inspired other gym members."

Mrs. Metha was a world traveler and an outdoorswoman who had enjoyed hiking in the West, especially in the Grand Canyon, Death Valley and the Rockies.

She was a communicant and choir member of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, 8420 Belair Road in Fullerton, where a memorial Mass will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by a son, Viraj Mehta of Perry Hall; her mother, Dominga Dela Cruz of San Mateo, Calif.; two brothers, Melchor Dela Cruz of San Mateo and Rafael Dela Cruz of Manila; and two sisters, Evelyn Alfonso and Mary Aileen Omalin, both of San Mateo.

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