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Published: Saturday, 5/29/2004

Nursing instructor volunteered in war

Genevieve Slawinski, 83, a nurse who was a longtime teacher at hospital schools of nursing, died yesterday in the Goerlich Center, Sylvania, of heart failure.

She had Alzheimer's disease and had lived in the center since July.

Mrs. Slawinski, formerly of North Toledo, retired in 1986 from Toledo Hospital, where she taught in the nursing school.

For several years after, she volunteered as a nurse at the former St. Vincent de Paul School.

Mrs. Slawinski returned to school as a student in the late 1960s and received a master of counseling degree in 1970 from the former Mary Manse College. Though years older than some of her classmates, "she did well. She handled it," her daughter Maria McDaniel said.

"Not only did she have six kids, plus going to school, but she was working," her daughter said. "She was our sole breadwinner because our dad had a disability from the post office."

Mrs. Slawinski sought the advanced degree to be competitive in her field, her son Anthony said. Still, she used the counseling skills to guide her young nursing students, some of whom had a talent in empathy, but needed encouragement in their studies; others had a scientific knack, but needed help in social skills, he said.

Mrs. Slawinski had been on the nursing staff of the former Parkview Hospital and St. Luke's Hospital. But it was in teaching that she found "the satisfaction of helping those girls out to go on to the next level," her daughter said. Nurses would mention to Mrs. Slawinski's family that they'd been in her classes.

"One of them actually told us, 'I would never be a nurse if it weren't for your mom,'‚óŹ" her daughter said.

Earlier, Mrs. Slawinski taught in the nursing schools of Flower Hospital and what is now St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center.

Mrs. Slawinski was born in Detroit, but grew up in Toledo. She was a graduate of Central Catholic High School and the St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing in Hamtramck, Mich.

She was an American Red Cross volunteer during World War II. She was education director of St. Luke's Hospital school of nursing before joining the staff of the Red Cross Toledo chapter in 1951. The next year, she was appointed director of nursing services for the Toledo chapter.

Mrs. Slawinski was a past president of the St. Vincent de Paul Altar Rosary Society. She was opinionated, her son said, adding that and she and friends would protest near abortion clinics.

"She lived that faith, and she shared that faith with others," he said.

Mrs. Slawinski and her husband, Edward, married June 18, 1955. He died May 14, 2003.

Surviving are her sons, Anthony, Joseph, and Christopher Slawinski; daughters, Maria McDaniel, Melanie Sheahan, and Michelle Rogers; 14 grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

The body will be in the Urbanski Mortuary from 3 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, with a recitation of the Rosary at 7 p.m. in the mortuary. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday in St. Joseph Church on Locust Street in North Toledo. The family suggests tributes to the Goerlich Center or the church.



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