Eunice And Plane 3 Hero Resize

Eunice Berglund

Public Health Nurse

Public health nurse Eunice Berglund (1910-2000) was born in Minnesota in 1910 and started her working career as a public school teacher in St. Cloud, Minnesota. In 1943, Eunice graduated from the Kahler School of Nursing in Rochester, Minnesota. The following year she enlisted in the US Army Nurses Corps, serving as a 1st Lieutenant until 1946. Upon returning to the US, Eunice enrolled in the University of Minnesota and earned a graduate degree in public health.

Eunice came to Alaska in 1953, where she worked in rural villages in central Alaska. In 1961, she moved to Homer and continued to serve as a public nurse for the surrounding communities. In 1965, she was injured in a plane crash and spent the following 10 months recovering at her parents’ home. Once she was fully healed, she continued to work as a nurse until her retirement in 1977. Upon her retirement, Eunice received special commendation from the Alaska State Legislature for her “outstanding contribution in improving and maintaining the health of many people in rural Alaska.”

Eunice is remembered for her “force of presence” and, according to bush pilot James Anderson, “she never ignored a medical need she considered serious,” often taking special trips to treat patients. She passed in 2000 in Arizona.

Like many of the women we’ve profiled in our #ExtraToughWomenAK series, information on Eunice Berglund is difficult to find through standard research methods. Her amazing work and story was brought to our attention by a community member.

Did you know Eunice and have a story you’d like to share about her? We’d also love to learn more about the powerful women in your life. Share your images and stories with us on Instagram and Facebook by tagging us (@anchoragemuseum and #ExtraToughWomenAK) and we’ll add them to our ongoing digital curation project.

Special thanks to Lorayne Embretson for nominating Eunice for our Digital Curation project and thank you to Dr. George Rhyneer for sharing some of his memories of Eunice.

Photos courtesy of Gary Larsen.

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