WARREN, Ohio – Odette Chene Gilmartin, 86, of Warren Ohio, died peacefully on May 24, 2017. She is deeply mourned by her family and many friends.
Of French descent, she was born January 19, 1931, in Worcester, Massachusetts to Marcel and Marianne Chene and was the eldest of three children.
A 1948 graduate of St. Pete’s High School in Worcester, she received her RN in 1951 at Hahnemann Hospital and continued her studies at Skidmore College before going on to earn her Bachelor Degree in Nursing at New York University in 1955.
Odette began her nursing career at NYU Hospital as a team leader. Always committed to community service, she joined the Mount Vernon NY Department of Public Health in 1958. Her love for working with children then drew her to the New Rochelle school district, where she served for most of her professional life and even into retirement.
Following a brief pause in 1962 to travel with her husband, Eugene Peter Gilmartin and to start a family, Odette went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Nursing at Boston University in 1971. She then returned to the New Rochelle school district as a school nurse teacher and was instrumental in establishing the first Head Start program at Barnard School.
Even after she “officially” retired in 1997, she continued to substitute as a nurse for the district until 2010. It was common for Odette to see parents she had cared for when they themselves were students bring their own children to her. She participated in many summer programs as a nurse and was a volunteer in the New Rochelle Health Clinic for the underprivileged.
A truly compassionate lady, Odette cared deeply about her family, friends and her longtime hometown of Larchmont, New York. She was especially admired for her public service as an elementary school nurse in the New Rochelle school district. She was beloved by parents, staff and her students and for always lending a listening ear. They could count on the fact that her sound advice and excellent medical care would always be delivered with a healthy dose of TLC.
Odette’s enormous patience, friendly smile and devotion to duty helped many very young children and their parents overcome great medical and social challenges.
Throughout her life, Odette maintained a relationship with her French family and was a perfect hostess whenever her cousins came from France to the U.S. for a visit.
Proud of her heritage, she was instrumental in having her father’s name added to the wall of honor at Ellis Island in New York.
Always an avid tennis player, Odette played well into her 70s and especially enjoyed the comradery of her tennis group in New York, where they played rain or shine. An avid reader, she was also a skilled knitter (as her granddaughter can attest!).
She is survived by her son, U.S. Navy Captain Paul Gilmartin of Chula Vista, California; daughter-in-law, Robin and granddaughter, Tia. She is also survived by her sister ,Therese (Griswold) Lussier Hurlbert of Cortland, Ohio; her sister-in-law, Irene Reynolds of New Jersey and many nephews and nieces.
Her brother, Alfred B. Chene, preceded her in death.
In Ohio, services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 14, 2017, at Blessed Sacrament Chapel in Warren. Family will greet friends beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Another service is planned for the New York/New Jersey area later in August and will be followed by a burial in the family plot in Massachusetts.
Contributions may be made in Odette’s name to The Gilmartin Foundation by contacting her son, Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org for information about the Foundation and how to donate.
Family and friends may visit www.peterrossiandsonfh.com to sign the guestbook and send condolences to her family.