Thelma Fern Shipp Grush passed away peacefully on Thursday April 21, 2022 at the age of 97.
Born on November 21, 1924 and raised in Welsh, Louisiana, she attended college at Southwestern Louisiana Institute (now ULL) in Lafayette.
At the age of 17, in order to aid in the war effort, she left college and moved to New Orleans. Following in her older sister’s footsteps, she enrolled in nursing school at Touro Infirmary, and graduated in 1946. One of the highlights of her early student nursing career was having to “scrub in” as the only available nurse for an emergency surgery performed by Dr. Alton Ochsner, who went on to found Ochsner Foundation Hospital and Clinic. She thoroughly enjoyed her time at Touro.
She married Bob Grush in 1948 and moved to Metairie where together they raised their four sons. She always enjoyed family activities on weekends and holidays spent at their Slidell camp, fishing and cooking their catch on Lake Pontchartrain, especially with all four of her sons together.
The family home in Metairie hosted one of the first continuing Halloween “Spook Houses” in the New Orleans area as well as many memorable New Year’s Eve fireworks parties, extended family and friends on hand. She was also instrumental in creating the first Cub Scout parade in the Bissonet Plaza area, which continues to this day.
With her children grown or in college, she resumed her nursing career at Metairie Healthcare nursing home, where she brightened the lives of her patients. At one time or another, she performed emergency procedures and saved the lives of several of her patients. She finally retired at age 80 after more than 25 years.
She was generous, kind, compassionate and always found a way to give people the benefit of the doubt. She especially loved holiday gatherings with the whole family, where many good cooks were found in the kitchen. She was an ardent fan of the Saints, Tulane and LSU sports.
She was preceded in death by her parents and siblings, husband Robert “Bob” Joseph Grush, son Robert “Robbie” Joseph Grush, Jr. and granddaughter Julie Elizabeth Grush.
Survived by sons Gary Charles Grush, Wayne Thomas Grush (Valerie) and Jay Paul Grush (Elaine), grandchildren Teresa Grush Guidry (Kirby J. Guidry, Jr.), Rebecca Grush Johnson (Lou), Nicole Touzien, and Matthew Grush, great grandchildren Kirby J. Guidry III, Joshua Lee Guidry, Dani Elizabeth Guidry, Sebastian Johnson and Dominic Johnson, and numerous beloved nieces and nephews and their children.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in memory of Mrs. Grush to be made to either the First United Methodist Church, PO Box 247, Welsh LA 70591 or Friends of the Welsh Museum, PO Box 513, Welsh LA 70591.
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