Josephine “Jo” Grace Paterson, 95 of Shallotte died peacefully among friends at Arbor Landing on June 11, 2020. Miss Jo was born in Freeport, N.Y. on Sept. 1, 1924, to the late Wallace W. Paterson and Genevieve McDonald Paterson. She was preceded in death by her sister, Carol, and her companion, Sue McCann. She is survived by her companion, Loretta Zderad.
Jo valued education highly and always encouraged others to pursue it, as she did herself. She earned a diploma in nursing from Lenox Hill Hospital School of Nursing in 1945, B.S.N.E. from St. John’s University in 1954, M.P.H. (in mental health) from John Hopkins University in 1955, and D.N.Sc. (Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing) from Boston University in 1969. In her long nursing career, which lasted over 40 years, Jo helped many patients, students, and colleagues in various positions as a public health staff nurse, supervisor, mental health consultant, and professor. She worked in Long Island, Maryland, Washington DC, Massachusetts, and Ohio.
Miss Jo taught mental health nursing and research methodology in graduate programs at The Catholic University of America and Ohio State University. Her final positions were at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Northport, N.Y. There she shared her knowledge in nursing staff development, research, and psychotherapy in the Mental Health Clinic.
Dr. Paterson was nationally recognized for her many articles, workshops, and lectures. She is especially respected for her conceptual development of nursing theory, which she presented as co-author of the book Humanistic Nursing.
In 1985, Jo retired to Shallotte with her two best friends. They traveled across the country and took frequent trips in their motorhome. Neighbors often referred to them as “The Golden Girls.” Jo enjoyed golf and bowling. She was an active volunteer and/or board member of community organizations including: Friends of Rourk Library, Brunswick Literacy Council, Lower Cape Fear Hospice, Hope Harbor Home, and Shallotte Point Volunteer Fire Department.
After Sue’s passing in 2015, Jo and Loretta moved into Arbor Landing at Ocean Isle where they made many new friends.
Jo was a member of St. Brendan the Navigator Catholic Church since 1985. Due to present health concerns, her services will be announced at a later date. Memorials may be directed to Lower Cape Fear (Hospice) Life Care, 1414 Physicians Dr., Wilmington N.C., 28401. Online condolences may be made at www.brunswickfuneralservice.com, Brunswick Funeral Service, Shallotte.