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Former employees return to hospital to celebrate 50th anniversary

When Elizabeth Page closed her eyes Friday, she could still see Baptist Health Paducah’s halls as they appeared when she was nurse in the late 1950s.

Those were the days when Page, then Elizabeth Brown of Benton, met and fell in love with Albert Page, then an orderly from Princeton. They married down the street in the nurses’ dormitory foyer on Aug. 25, 1962.

The couple, now of Louisville, returned to tour the hospital Friday with family and friends celebrating their 50th anniversary. Among their guests were friends Mary Bisping of Mississippi and Roberta Carper of Paducah, former nurses who also married orderlies during the same time.

“I’ll always have a place in my heart for Baptist,” said Elizabeth Page, 74. “It’s unbelievable how everything is so different, but it’s a good different. We loved working here. We started out here at the very beginning and we worked hard, but we loved every minute of it.”

The Pages recalled Baptist Health Paducah as a three-story hospital.  Now with six stories and multiple wings, the hospital looks quite different. “The hospital is so big,” Elizabeth Page said. “I never dreamed it would look like this.”

The number of employees is another contrast, about 1,800 today compared to 150 of their co-workers. “Most of the workers shared a comradeship, and we knew everybody,” said Albert Page, 83.

Page said he met his future wife in a large utility room, where all employees came for supplies or hung out during breaks.

During breaks, “she never sat around,” he said. “She kept working. I thought that’s a woman who keeps her mouth shut and knows what she’s doing. I had to talk her into marrying me. She wanted a career. She loved taking care of sick people.”

Soon after marrying, the Pages moved to Louisville, where he served as a police officer. Elizabeth Page worked at Kentucky Baptist, now known as Baptist Health Louisville, until an illness forced her to retire in 1987. She later worked at a nursing home until 1998.

The Pages have two children – U.S. Army Capt. Jim Page, based at Fort Campbell, and Cindy White, a Louisville nurse – and four grandchildren.

Elizabeth Page said forgiveness is the secret to a long marriage.

“My secret is she’s been good to me,” her husband added. “I think I married an angel.”