Honoring Her Parents’ Ministry | Capital University, Columbus Ohio


    • Honoring Her Parents’ Ministry

      Robert and Helen Winters

      As a child, Pat Winters walked quickly and skipped to keep up with her father’s long stride. The Rev. Robert Winters (’29) and his wife, Helen, brought the kids when making pastoral calls on their Lutheran flock, so Pat grew up hearing snippets of ministerial comfort and conversation.

      By the Ohio River in Steubenville, she watched her deaconess mother hand sandwiches to hungry, sooty men on the porch. In Pennsylvania, New York and North Carolina, she saw her father clasp parishioners’ hands in his, guiding them through joys and sorrows.

      “They never fully realized the long-term outcomes of their joint ministry,” says Patricia Winters Goodyear (’58), Ph.D., RN, CS-P. “That’s why I did this in their memory and not as an out-and-out gift.”

       “If you educate one nurse, maybe 50,000 people are influenced.” 

      - Pat Winters

      Pat Winters
      Capital Nursing’s Early Years

      Responding to a postwar nursing shortage, Capital University’s four-year bachelor’s degree in nursing began in 1950, four years before Patricia Winters Goodyear ’58 enrolled.

      The class of 1958 began with only 24 students – and ended with 11 due to the program’s exhausting demands. Early on, Goodyear remembers, officials were still finessing how to combine three years of clinical training with a four-year academic degree. Result: perhaps the hardest-working students on campus.

      Freshmen studied the sciences as the basis for treating all manner of human illness and injuries. Sophomore and junior years, they lived in nurses’ quarters at the original Mount Carmel Hospital and Grant Hospital, serving as essential though low-level staff, especially at night.

      “We’d work from 7 to 11 am and 7 to 11 pm, with class in between,” Goodyear remembers. “And somewhere in there you also had to study and sleep and eat and anything else.” With an 8 pm curfew at Mount Carmel, “anything else” excluded a lot.

      Room and board were covered these two years, which helped. Still, students had to commute back to campus for classes. Gas hovered around 17 cents a gallon. Goodyear charged classmates 10 cents a day for rides in the 1950 Pontiac coupe her father had bought her. That covered expenses and beat the 25-cent city bus fare.

      Part of the clinical training was hands-on experience at Children’s Hospital, at Ohio Tuberculosis Hospital, and at Columbus State Hospital for psychiatry. Goodyear followed a bit in her parents’ ministerial footsteps when she taught Sunday school to children with cerebral palsy, “bringing some stimulation that they weren’t getting in other ways.”

      Senior year saw the nurses move back to campus, though they still did hospital work and perhaps community health service. There was a welcome respite on Senior Sneak Day, when “everyone seemed to end up at Lake Hope” for swimming, relaxing, and bonfire building – but after graduation, it was right back to work for the fourth summer in a row.

      Goodyear was drawn to nursing not just because of her family’s long emphasis on service to others –“being a healer of sorts was part of how I saw myself, from my parents, always the caregivers” – but also because she loved science and saw limited career paths for women.

      Others in the fledgling program had similar thoughts. “You were either a secretary, a teacher, or a nurse, and I didn’t think I’d like teaching,” Marlene Schmidt Martin told Capital magazine in 2014.

      Goodyear recalls the head of the nursing program, a Bostonian named Edith Chamberlain, as “a dynamo” and a good role model – she developed a curriculum based in the Biology Department and other sciences – but says no one on the faculty wasn’t a role model and a mentor. Of the Class of ’58, Capital magazine wrote in 2014, “virtually all the women credit Capital for giving them the thorough preparation they needed to excel at nursing.”

      Capital’s nursing department achieved accreditation in 1960, which foresaw a period of enormous growth and professionalization. But even before, “those years were the bedrock of the professional I became,” Goodyear says. “My parents started it, and everything else flowed from those four years.”

      “This” is Capital University Department of Nursing’s first endowed professorship, a tribute that will also, she hopes, add to Capital’s ability to retain and recruit top faculty. Her class already has a scholarship fund, so with a professorship, “it’s time someone recognized that this program deserves that affirmation.

      “My education served me well,” Goodyear says. It launched a five-decade career as a nurse and nurse educator. It allowed her to care for one son at home when he became a quadriplegic at 17 and for her second husband while he battled cancer. “If you educate one nurse, maybe 50,000 people are influenced,” she points out.

      Capital’s own influence started early. Having attended four schools in four years, young Pat arrived at college “overwhelmed and scared,” without even the social hive of a dorm: Needing to work, she moved in with a family who employed her as a housekeeper/nanny. “My memory of freshman year was wishing I could be on campus with all the other kids,” she says.

      But Capital’s “benevolent nature” came through even to a commuter. “It was so spiritually driven and safe and balanced,” says Goodyear, happy at the memory. Professors had students over for dinner. Everyone said hello. The sense of mutual support and camaraderie was palpable.

      Future nurses needed this sustaining culture more than most. At the time, the new nursing program crammed five years of training into four years. Goodyear and her classmates worked most of each summer, even after graduation. There was no time for intramural sports or chapel choir, though she did manage to teach Sunday school and date future husband John Jorn (54, S’58).

      All this hard work laid the foundation for Goodyear’s 16 years of teaching clinical and psychiatric nursing at Baltimore’s Union Memorial Hospital and another 16 years teaching and consulting at Memorial Hospital in Easton, Md. With a master’s in counseling and a doctorate in human development, she also maintained a private clinical practice and was an adjunct professor of pastoral counseling at Loyola College Maryland, among other pursuits.

      Why psychiatry? The universality: “Every ill patient has a mental health need, but not every mental health patient has appendicitis,” she says. Plus, psychiatric nursing made for a mobile practice in a cutting-edge field.

      “You could see the patient in the context of the family and the community. There were more opportunities to influence the whole family system—the young kid at home, the child in college, wife, husband, in-laws, parents …”

      Capital also was alma mater to Goodyear’s father, two brothers (Bob ‘56 and Paul ‘64, ‘68), and first husband, a Lutheran pastor. (Talk about “the Cap Family”!) Just as her forebears combined spiritual and hands-on community service, so, too, did Goodyear and Jorn pass these values on to the next generation.

      Daughter Rebecca is a teacher and court-appointed special advocate for abused and neglected children in the legal and social service system. Lester sells dental insurance to nursing homes. Bernard is a Lutheran pastor. In retirement, Goodyear herself has led the board of Baltimore’s Christ Lutheran Church, mentored homeless adults and children in its shelter, and taught years of life-skills classes.

      This “religious and multigenerational” thread – concern for others above self – ties back to why Goodyear felt driven to honor her parents and their mores with her gift to Capital University. Their guidance shaped her worldview; their sacrifices allowed for her education; their example led to lifelong devotion to the health and well-being of her family, church, community, and alma mater.

      “Many of Helen and Robert’s grandchildren have honored their legacy through commitment to education, ministry, nursing, leadership, and service to others,” Goodyear noted in setting the terms of the Winters Memorial Professorship.

      In allowing for a higher level of training for Capital nurses and in setting an aspiration for future donors, Goodyear is typically thinking back on her parents – Robert and Helen Winters – who lived “to help in time of need. This is about their gift to the world.”