Yvonne Purdue, nurse, home health manager

Yvonne Wagner Purdue, 62, of Cedar Brook, Winslow Township, a registered nurse who was a branch manager at Virtua Home Health Care in Mount Laurel from 2003 until earlier this year, died of cancer Monday, Oct. 26, at her home.

Mrs. Purdue's agency managed "continuity of care following hospital discharge" of patients, she wrote in autobiographical notes.

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Yvonne W. Purdue

"She managed teams of 10 to 15 registered nurses, a pretty active manager," son Steven C. Purdue said.

"Every time she took over a new team," he said, the scores for patient satisfaction "went up to 98 percent, pretty consistently."

Mrs. Purdue had chosen nursing, he said, because "her mom and her mom's mom were both nurses. So she was always around it."

There was also a hint of adventure.

"My mom's father was in the Navy," he said, "so they really traveled around a good bit," and his wife "could find a nursing position wherever she was."

In her own career, Mrs. Purdue moved from hospital nurse to rehabilitation director to home health-care manager.

Asked which assignment she favored, her son said that "she really did like to take care of patients. In the last years, she did miss being out in the field."

"What it came down to was, she could have more of an impact being a leader," he said.

Dorothy Liberatore, who retired in July after 12 years as a Virtua scheduler for Mrs. Purdue, said "she was a very caring, compassionate nurse and a very caring supervisor."

Liberatore noted that "her staff loved her. She was very kind to her staff. And the staff were very loyal to her."

Born in Key West, Fla., Mrs. Purdue graduated from John Harris High School in Harrisburg in 1971 before becoming a registered nurse at Harrisburg Hospital School of Nursing in 1974.

She earned a bachelor's in nursing at Walden University in Minneapolis in 2014.

In autobiographical notes, Mrs. Purdue wrote that she began her career at what is now PinnacleHealth Harrisburg Hospital, first as an orthopedic charge nurse from 1974 to 1979 and later as staff nurse for anesthesia care from 1989 to 1990.

Until 1992, she was director of nursing at the Leader Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Camp Hill.

After working briefly for rehabilitation agencies in Harrisburg and Mechanicsburg, Mrs. Purdue moved to health-care agencies in the Philadelphia area.

From 1993 to 1998 and from 2000 to 2003, she wrote, she was the medical case manager for "industrially disabled clients" for LRC Rehabilitation Consultants in Paoli.

Besides her son, Mrs. Purdue is survived by her husband, Steven B.; daughters Suzanne Butz and Cheryl Fryer; two brothers; and three grandchildren.

Services took place Saturday, Oct. 31.

Donations may be sent to the Gift of Life Donor Program at www.donors1.org.

Condolences may be offered to the family at www.lpwoosterfuneralhome.com.

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