Alice Darrow, a former Navy nurse , was honored for her love of life and patriotic commitment to our country as one of the last living links to Pearl Harbor when she celebrated her 105th birthday in Danville, California, surrounded by family, friends, and community members.

Darrow was born in 1919 in Paso Robles and enrolled in nursing school after finishing high school. She then served as a Navy nurse and worked at Peralta Hospital in Oakland when Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941. She is considered among the last of the ‘greatest generations in American history.’

Daily Nurse proudly names Alice Darrow Nurse of the Week in recognition of her love of life, patriotic commitment to our country, and status as one of the last living links to Pearl Harbor.

One Naval officer was blown off his boat as Japanese gunmen kept firing as Darrow (then Alice Beck) climbed aboard his rescue boat. “When the boat came by to pick him up, he was trying to pull himself up on the boat. They shot him. He got shot in the back,” Darrow says.

It wasn’t until four months later, while he was being treated for appendicitis, doctors did an x-ray and discovered a bullet in his heart. Darrow was assigned to him as his nurse.

“He asked me, ‘Ms. Becky, if I survive this, would you take liberty with me?’ Which was a shock. So, I said, ‘sure, why not?’ They didn’t think he was going to make it anyways,” says Darrow.

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When Mr. Darrow died in 1991, the couple had been married for almost fifty years. Together, they raised four children in Lake County, where both parents were active in military memorial services.

Darrow credits her longevity to her secret to life. “Always have something to look forward to. It gets your body and mind ready for what’s next. And, of course, family, friends, and laughter.”

As for what’s next for Darrow, she’s looking forward to an ‘around the world’ cruise later this year with her daughter.

Nominate a Nurse of the Week! Every Wednesday, DailyNurse.com features a nurse making a difference in the lives of their patients, students, and colleagues. We encourage you to nominate a nurse who has impacted your life as the next Nurse of the Week, and we’ll feature them online and in our weekly newsletter. 

Renee Hewitt
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