If you attended Comanche ISD anytime from 1949 to 1979, all you have to hear is the name Nurse Eads to know exactly who I’m talking about, right? Even today, I still hear her calling me Freddie as she always did for some reason…even though she was well acquainted with my family and knew my name very well.
I can also still see her starched white uniform, completely looking the part of the nurse of my youth.
I didn’t, however, know the rest of Nurse Eads story until her niece, Ruth Cattles Cottrell, shared it with me some years ago.
Kathleen Virginia Torrence was born June 29, 1911, in Nacogdoches, Texas. She came to Proctor at the age of three when her mother, Tennie, married John Cattle.
Kathleen graduated from Proctor High School and studied nursing at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Fort Worth, graduating there as an RN in 1932. She married Martin Eads on April 8, 1934.
After working several years in Fort Worth as the private duty nurse for the first Amon Carter, Kathleen returned to the Comanche area after the war. She did private duty nursing before being employed by the Comanche ISD as school nurse in 1949 where she spent thirty years, finally retiring in 1979.
She devoted her life to the welfare of the students of Comanche and worked extensively with the underprivileged children in the county in the decades before government programs offered such assistance. By 1979 she was watching over the grandchildren of those she first cared for in 1949.
“This story was told by my Aunt Kate. In 1951, shortly after she started working at the Comanche school, she became lifelong friends with Miss Marguerite Ross whom my generation remembers as the typing teacher at the high school. Of course in the days before computers, we all took typing.
“By 1963 when I had her for typing class, we didn’t realize that she and Aunt Kate had already accomplished something that would not be repeated in Comanche for almost fifty years.
“According to Aunt Kate, the high school was in dire need of a girl’s basketball coach. Miss Ross was “volunteered” for the honor. She agreed to do it if Aunt Kate would be her sponsor. Aunt Kate had played basketball at Proctor in the late 1920’s, but I don’t know if Miss Ross had any experience.
“There were probably others involved in this story but I don’t know them. The rest is history. They won the girl’s state basketball championship in 1951, an honor Comanche would finally repeat in 1998.” –Ruth
Nurse Kathleen Eads died April 30, 1999, at Comanche, Texas and was buried in the Proctor Cemetery, Proctor, Texas. She left a definite mark on three generations of young people.