Catherine Ogburn Dandridge passed from this earthly life on Sunday, September 5, 2021 at Gilchrist Hospice Center after a brave and hard-fought battle with advanced metastatic breast cancer.
Catherine was born on July 4, 1941 to John Edwin and Rena Jones Ogburn in Mecklenburg County of South Hill, Virginia. She received her early education in Mecklenburg County Public Schools and graduated from East End High School in 1965. Immediately after graduation, Catherine moved to Washington, DC, where she worked and saved money for her life dream to become a nurse. Catherine attended Provident Hospital Helene Fuld School of Nursing in Baltimore, MD and graduated in September 1965. After graduation, she attended the University of Maryland for two semesters. Catherine enrolled in the RN evening program at Coppin State College in January 1988 and graduated in May 1993, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.
After graduating from Provident, Catherine returned to Washington, DC and accepted her first nursing job at DC General Hospital, where she worked in the Intensive Care Unit and later in the Medical/Surgical Unit. Catherine subsequently moved on to work at multiple hospitals in the area. In August 1969, Catherine accepted a job at St. Joseph Hospital (now St. Joseph Medical Center) in Towson, Maryland as a staff nurse and employee health nurse. Catherine then transferred to the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit in 1971. Here she held positions as Staff Nurse, Team Leader, Assistant Head Nurse, and Head Nurse. She also developed the first orientation program for St. Joseph Recovery Room orientees. Catherine finally retired in August 2006 after 37 years of service at St. Joseph Medical Center. Catherine’s nursing and leadership skills served as foundations of her advancement in clinical nursing, and she received the Harriet Tubman Legacy in Nursing Award for Adult Health Nursing in 2008. Most recently, Catherine celebrated her 50th anniversary as a nurse in 2015.
Catherine married Russell Dandridge in June 1969. One daughter, Renita, was born to this union. Their marriage ended later in divorce. Catherine was a faithful and active member of Historic St. Francis Xavier Church. She served in the former Healthcare Ministry, served as a Eucharistic Minister, and served on several other special committees through the years. She attended masses regularly until family obligations and declining health prevented her from doing so. Catherine had a variety of interests and enjoyed spending time with her family and friends, reading, walking, traveling, going to the theater, attending nearby jazz festivals, and trying her luck at the casinos. As many know, she also loved her birds! Catherine was active with her community association, the American Cancer Society, the Society of Peri-Anesthesia Nurses, and the Provident Hospital Helene Fuld School of Nursing Alumni Association, where she also served as Treasurer from 2001 to 2020.
Catherine is preceded in death by her parents, John Edwin Ogburn and Rena Jones Ogburn; one brother-in-law, James Evans; and one ex-husband, Russell E. Dandridge. She leaves to cherish her memory, one daughter, Renita E. Dandridge; one brother, John E. Ogburn (Christine); one sister, Teresa Ogburn-Evans; one niece, Erika Ogburn Broadus (Derrick); two aunts, Marie Riddick and Juanita Ogburn; lifelong friends Elaine Dandridge, Lawrence Dandridge, and Marilyn Roles; several cousins; nursing school classmates; and a host of extended family and friends.
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