Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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October 10, 2012

Ollie Bius Memorial Scholarship honors commitment

Corsicana — Lauren Jones, 2012 honor graduate of Malakof High School, is the recipient of the Ollie Bius Memorial Nursing Scholarship.  

The scholarship is funded by Ray and Sandee McCann to acknowledge the life and career of Mrs. Bius, who was Mrs. McCann’s mother. Ms. Jones is a student in the Associate Degree Nursing program at Navarro College.

Ollie Bius was born in 1916 in the Piney Woods of East Texas. Life was a struggle for her family growing up. As a young woman, she realized that the only hope she had for a better life was to relocate. Over a two year period, she managed to save $25 she earned from picking cotton. With her “life savings” in a tobacco sack pinned inside her blouse, she boarded the train to Fort Worth.

A relative there introduced her to a doctor who often provided help to aspiring nurses, and he agreed to pay her expenses for nursing school. When she offered to pay him back when she got established, he responded that he preferred she do for someone else what he had done for her. Over her career that spanned 46 years, she repeatedly honored the doctor’s request. She served as director of nurses at several hospitals in the Galveston area, ending her career at John Sealy Hospital in that city. She also spent two years in the Panama Canal Zone in government service.

Mrs. Bius passed away in 1994 at the age of 88. On her deathbed she informed her daughters that she was supporting a nursing student who lacked one more year to complete her degree. She told them in no uncertain terms that they were to make sure the young woman would have funds to finish her studies.

At her funeral, several attendees told the family that Mrs. Bius had funded their college costs. She clearly had honored her commitment to “pay it forward.” Although she had been gone for many years, her legacy continues though the scholarship established by her family.  

“We are pleased to honor the memory of Mrs. Bius by assisting a deserving student like Laura Jones pursue her goals of becoming a nurse,” said Dr. Tommy Stringer, executive director of the Navarro College Foundation.

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