Madelyn Virginia “Ginny” Brooks Stowell, 94, passed away on Friday, April 26, 2019 at Riverledge Nursing Home in Ogdensburg.
Ginny was born in Morristown on June 12, 1924, the daughter of John and Edith (Lowery) Brooks of Brier Hill.
She married her husband Herbert Stowell on April 20, 1946 in Gouverneur with Rev. Crawford officiating and Herb’s brother Charles Stowell standing up with them along with Ginny’s best friend Alma Markwick Rumble. They were married for 71 years, living in Gouverneur from 1946 until 2017 when they moved together to Riverledge Nursing Home. Herb passed away on September 12, 2017.
Ginny graduated from a one room schoolhouse in Brier Hill in 1941 and from St. Lawrence State Hospital School of Nursing in 1945. During her nursing school internship, she worked one year at Belview Hospital of Nursing in NYC and Vanderbilt School of Nursing in Nashville, TN, specializing in psychology. In her third year of nursing, she joined the army nursing corps, as they needed nurses for WW II but she had to graduate first. The war ended before she graduated, and she did not have to go to Europe.
Ginny became charge nurse of the medical floor at Van Duzee Hospital in Gouverneur and when E.J. Noble Hospital opened up in1951, she was named the floor charge nurse there. In 1952, when the first epidemic of polio struck, Ginny was the only nurse who knew how to operate the Iron Lung. She had positions as charge nurse for the OB floor and surgical floor. Ginny worked private duty nursing, and had worked at the private practices of Dr. Ernest Adler for 26 years and Dr. Abdul Jalalzai. She served as East Side School nurse before retiring at age 65.
Ginny was to meet Herb, when he was discharged home from WW II, at a lunch with his mother, Marion Stowell, who was a cook at the Van Duzee Hospital, but Herb skipped out. However, the next night, Ginny and her friend Alma, saw him at the Park View Hotel in Gouverneur and she introduced herself. Herb always said, “he never stood a chance”, and they married 2 weeks later.
The couple have 2 children, Bonnie Simmons, Thomas and Sandy Stowell, all of Gouverneur, 4 grandchildren Jason Simmons, Kris, Adam, and Tyler Stowell, 9 great grandchildren,1 great, great grandchild, nieces and nephews. Ginny is predeceased by her husband Herb, her parents, and her brothers John R. and Robert Brooks.
Lifetime members of the Gouverneur First Baptist Church and Gouverneur First Presbyterian Church, they spent their lifetimes in service to their church and the church family. They spent many years “doing all things as a family” or they didn’t do it at all. They enjoyed years of racing cars, boats, and go-karts, traveling on motorcycles, owned camps at Pleasant Lake and Hickory Lake, and enjoyed it all with their friends and families in work and play while being of help to anyone who needed it.
There will be no funeral services per their wishes and private burial will be in Hailesboro Cemetery with the Green Funeral Home, Gouverneur.
Memorial donations in their memory may be made to the Gouverneur Vol. Fire Department, Gouverneur Vol. Rescue Squad, or Gouverneur First Presbyterian Church.