Vera A. Dusseau
Vera Andress “Tutti” Dusseau, 87, passed away at 8:50 p.m. on Wednesday, January 2, 2013. She was born on May 29, 1925 in Adams County to William F. and Minna A. (Baumgartner) Andress..
But didn’t she ramble! She graduated from Hartford High School in 1943. She then graduated with her Registered Nursing degree in 1948 from Indiana University. While she was in nursing school, she was a member of the Cadet Nurse Corps during WWII. After graduation, she and two friends from nursing school, decided to join the Veteran’s Administration Hospital system. Based on a coin toss, they all moved to Los Angeles, California. She met and married Alphonse Emanuel Dusseau in Los Angeles. She returned to live in the Midwest and gave birth to their daughter, Annette in 1961.
After returning to Indiana, she returned to Indiana University to get her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She then attended St. Francis College and graduated with her Masters degree in Education in 1969.
She worked in the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Fort Wayne. She worked for a total of 33 years in the VA system. She was instrumental in establishing the first Intensive Care Unit at the VA Hospital in Fort Wayne. She also was director of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit there. She and Dr. Sung Su Kim designed and patented a revolutionary surgical instrument while working for the VA. She also was the first CPR instructor to teach CPR to the Berne Fire Department.
Didn’t she ramble…she traveled with her mother, Minna Andress, her sister, Grace McBride, and her daughter, Annette to Europe in 1973 and again in 1979. The travel involved a lot of family genealogy research in Switzerland and Germany. They went with one of their Swiss cousins on a hike to the ancestral home in the Jura Mountains near Bern.
After retiring from the VA, she didn’t sit in a rocker and rest. She spent several years helping her niece, Jeanne Dubach, in her business, Rock Creek Bait and Tackle. She earned the name “Worm Lady” with a lot of the customers and suppliers.
Didn’t she ramble…her daughter Annette joined the Army in 1986 and was stationed in Germany for five years. Since she was retired, she would visit Annette for months at a time. They traveled all over Europe including visiting family in Switzerland again.
Didn’t she ramble…in 1997, she built a house on Mobile Bay in Alabama. During the last years of her life, she spent most of her time there. She also spent her summers with her daughter in Missoula, Montana. She always made time to return to Indiana for a month or two to stay with family in the Berne area.
The urge to travel came again in 2003. She decided she wanted to go to Anzio, Italy to visit where her brother, Floyd was killed in the invasion of Italy. She, Annette and her son-in-law, Shawn Modula made a trip to Anzio where they were treated like celebrities by the people there. There was a ceremony at the Museo dello Sbarco di Anzio where she was presented a certificate of thanks from the people of Anzio.
Didn’t she ramble…in 2008, she, Annette, Shawn, and Shawn’s mother, Adell visited Hawaii. She travelled from the heights of Mount Mauna Kea to the ocean depths on a submarine trip.
She was truly a student of the world and continued to travel as long as she was able.
She is survived by her daughter, Annette Dusseau and her son-in-law Shawn Modula; two sisters, Donna (Andress) Wilson; and Pearle “Penny” (Andress) McMillen; sister-in-law Carolyn (Bieberstein) Andress; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents; two sisters, Ruth (Andress) Studebaker; and Grace (Andress) McBride; two brothers, Floyd Andress; and Robert Andress; and her ex-husband, Alphonse E. Dusseau.
She will be missed by all! A memorial service is planned for a date to be announced.
Memorial may be made in her name to the American Heart Association.
Arrangements provided by Yager-Kirchhofer Funeral Home in Berne. Sign the guest book online at yagerkirchhofer.com.