Recognizing Ms. Ollie Lee McMillan Masonby Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson
Posted on 2013-02-04
in the house of representatives
Monday, February 4, 2013
Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize
the life and achievements of Ms. Ollie Lee McMillan Mason. Ms. Mason
lived her life with determination and with a commitment to serving
others. As the first black nurse on the staff of
Parkland Memorial Hospital in 1937, Ms. Mason was a trailblazer for
others who would follow in her path.
A Dallas, Texas, native, Ms. Mason moved to Washington, DC, to study at the Freedmen's Hospital School of Nursing. After graduating in 1929, she served as chief nurse at the McMillan Sanitarium in Dallas, an institute founded by her father, Dr. W. R. McMillan. Ms. Mason later studied obstetrics for a year at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City. During her time in New York, she married Duane B. Mason.
When Ms. Mason and her husband returned to Dallas, Ms. Mason began working at Parkland Memorial Hospital in the obstetrics department. She became a public health nurse for Dallas in 1941. Ms. Mason continued her nursing education at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, and earned her bachelor's degree in nursing at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Ms. Mason always used her education to serve her community in Dallas, whether teaching others to care for premature infants or working for the school district.
Never shying away from a challenge, Ms. Mason joined the Peace Corps in 1972 and served in Mauritius. After working overseas, Ms. Mason came back to Dallas and worked for Tremont Health Care Center until her retirement at the age of 84.
Ms. Mason died last week at the age of 107 in Irving, Texas. Her lifelong dedication to helping others and her love for nursing changed our Dallas community for the better. Ms. Mason is survived by her daughters, Sandra Ruth Dixon and Anne Young, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.