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My Grandmother, Mary Raab, and Orlando Regional Medical Center

My grandmother, Mary Raab, was an amazing woman and I loved her very much.

In 1922, when she was 18 years old, my grandmother, then Mary Ellman, moved to Winter Garden, Florida  with her family.  They later moved to Orlando to become founding members of Trinity Lutheran Church which was established in 1926.

Grandma was a very caring person and it was no surprise that she decided to become a nurse.  She told me that her parents were not very happy with her decision because at that time it was uncommon for women to have careers, and nursing was a profession where she would be exposed to disease and partial nudity.  However, they gave her their support and she decided to attend the nursing school at Orange General Hospital.  She loved nursing school and was very happy when she graduated on June 10, 1925 and could care for patients at the hospital.

A graduation photo of her class  is  featured on page 42 of 75 Years of Caring and displayed in the hospital itself.

When my grandmother gave birth in 1938  to her first child, my mother, she did so in the same hospital.  I was also  born there in 1957, when it was known as Orange Memorial Hospital.  My mother told me that she stayed in the same room in the maternity ward when I was born  that my grandmother did with her.

When my grandmother was in her 80’s and admitted to the  hospital where she had once cared for others, now Orlando Regional Medical Center, I would place her nursing graduation photo by her bedside and proudly tell the nurses and doctors her story.

WATCH Interview with Mary Raab’s granddaughter Kathy Boyle conducted by OCLS librarian Sharon Ricket on February 18, 2013.

Editors Note: According to information found on Mary Mathilda Ellman Raab, she was born on March 22, 1904 in Johnsburg, Somerset County, Pennsylvania and died on December 15, 1996 at the age of 92.

VISIT  Mary Mathilda Ellman Raab’s gravesite at

MARY E. RAAB, 92, Stockbridge Avenue, Orlando, died Sunday, Dec. 15. Mrs. Raab was a registered nurse. Born in Johnsburg, Pa., she moved to Central Florida in 1922. She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church. Survivors: husband, Theodore ”Ted” R.; stepsons, Philipe B., Orlando, Jerald E., Roosevelt, Utah; daughters, Joanne Kimmell, Reston, Va., Marjorie Jernigan, Mobile, Ala.; stepdaughter, Mary E. Kessel, Lehigh Acres; sister, Clara Brandt, Orlando; eight grandchildren; several great-grandchildren.

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Mary Raab Nursing Certificate

Nursing certificate issued to Mary Ellman by the Florida State Board of Examiners of Nurses.

Postcard of Orange General Hospital - front

The old Orange General Hospital circa 1925.

Postcard of Orange General Hospital - back

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Orlando, the City Beautiful brochure - late 1920's

Front and back cover showing scenes from Lake Eola.

Orando, the City Beautiful brochure 2

Images include the old red brick court house looking west down Central Blvd with the Angebilt Hotel, San Juan Hotel, Yowell-Drew, and...

Orando, the City Beautiful brochure 3

Images of the Hotel Wyoming, Lucerne Circle and Lake Lucerne, the skyline of the city of Orlando including Memorial Junior High, with...

Orando, the City Beautiful brochure 4

Three images of Eola Park and image of San Juan Hotel.

Orlando, the City Beautiful brochure 5

Postcards depicting Lake Lucerne, the St. Charles Hotel, Memorial High School and the Albertson Public Library.

Orando, the City Beautiful brochure 6

Images include Lake Cherokee, the old post office , Jefferson Court Apartments and Rosalind Avenue.

Orando, the City Beautiful brochure 7

Images of Lucerne Hotel, poinsettias at Lake Eola, swans on Lake Lucerne and the Amherst Apartments.

Orando, the City Beautiful brochure 8

Orlando Bank and Trust Company and the Angebilt Hotel on Orange Avenue.

Mary Raab's Nursing Graduation Photo

Mary Raab's Nursing Graduation photo from Orange General Hospital in 1925. It is featured on page 42 of 75 Years of Caring, which...

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