Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Honoring the 5th Auxiliary Surgical Group: Edith PERKINSON
The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution - Sunday, March 7, 1999
A nurse in World War II's Battle of the Bulge, Edith Ann "Doss" Perkinson of Atlanta was no stranger to suffering. Later in life she was still working to alleviate it, ensuring that Atlanta nurses could provide quality home care. "To my mother, if you needed care, you needed care. Period," said her daughter, Coe Perkinson of New York. "If that meant that a nurse had to come to you, so be it."
Mrs. Perkinson, who died at her residence Wednesday of complications from Parkinson's disease, served as the president of the Visiting Nurses Association of Atlanta during the 1960s. By recruiting nurses and overseeing home care training and fund-raising, she helped make home nursing more widespread in the area. Mrs. Perkinson's memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Monday at St. Anne's Episcopal Church. The body was cremated. Cremation Society of Georgia is in charge of arrangements.
A member of the Tlingit tribe of Native Americans, Mrs. Perkinson was born in Cordova, Alaska. Graduating from Hartford Hospital School of Nursing in Connecticut and the University of Rochester in New York state, Mrs. Perkinson specialized in neurological surgery and joined the Army. She was sent to Europe with the 5th Auxiliary Surgical Group . She later said her life became a blur as she worked with a mobile field hospital in heavy combat. "They were moving around an awful lot, maybe threedays in one place, then they'd have to evacuate those they could and move somewhere else where the fighting was more severe and the casualties greater," said her husband, Dr. Neil Perkinson, a surgical oncologist. "They didn't have helicopters in the Army back then. Everything was done by ambulance, so they had to be as close to the front as possible." Returning stateside, Mrs. Perkinson met her husband while the two were working at a hospital in New York. They married in 1951 and moved to Atlanta in 1956, where Mrs. Perkinson kept busy raising their children, gardening and leading a Campfire Girls group. She also belonged to the Medical Association of Atlanta's Auxiliary. In 1974, Mrs. Perkinson returned to work, taking a position with the Emory University School of Medicine's dermatology department. She served as administrator of a research grant on skin cancers, overseeing the project's scientists. "She knew medical terms and had the experience; that's why they hired her," said Dr. Perkinson."She had to train the other people they hired." Survivors other than her husband and daughter include three sons, Bill Perkinson and Neil Perkinson Jr., both of Atlanta, and Paul Perkinson of Winnetka, Ill.; a brother, Jerald Lucchini of Seattle; and three grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family requested that contributions be made to St. Anne's Episcopal Church, 3098 Northside Parkway N.E., Atlanta, GA 30327.