Sharing a passion for nursing and life

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Cecilia Borenitsch, the oldest of four children and a graduate of Milwaukee’s Riverside High School, had no financial support when she decided to pursue a nursing education. But she was determined to make the path easier for others who shared her passion.

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A bequest from Borenitsch, who passed away in 1999 at the age of 86, created the Cecelia A. Borenitsch Fund, a Greater Milwaukee Foundation fund now worth nearly three quarters of a million dollars. It supports nursing education, including scholarship grants and program development in the field of nursing education and has provided nearly $400,000 in scholarships to students studying nursing at institutions throughout greater Milwaukee.

Borenitsch’s niece, Barbara Borenitsch, said her aunt, who was interested in nursing and very patriotic, joined the Navy during World War II and earned her nursing degree. She remained in the Naval Reserve until 1954. A pioneer in at-home nursing, she devoted 40 years as a private-duty nurse, working well into her eighties, primarily on Milwaukee’s East Side.

A long-time resident of the Shorecrest Hotel, Borenitsch planted flower beds outside of the hotel for the pleasure of others and often helped fellow residents with health concerns. Barbara Borenitsch remembers her aunt, who never married, as a woman who "traveled lightly in life."

"She was always doing good for people; she was a very benevolent woman," Barbara said. "It was a wonderful gift that she gave."

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