Autumn 2008: Tribute

Edith Honeycutt portrait

Edith Honeycutt

Kay Hinton

Edith Honeycutt, Nurse to Woodruffs

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Edith Folsom Honeycutt 39N 04H was a nurses’ nurse, tending to The Coca-Cola Company owner Ernest Woodruff so diligently that he called her “my daughter.” She later became private nurse to his son, Robert W. Woodruff, president of The Coca-Cola Company, and his wife, Nell Hodgson Woodruff, for whom Emory’s School of Nursing was named. Honeycutt died July 22 at her home in Decatur at ninety-one.

She was born September 3, 1916, in Quincy, Florida, and entered nursing school in 1936. She married Paul Honeycutt soon after graduating. Their daughter, Dianne, was born in 1940, and a son, Danny, followed in 1948.

In addition to her time spent with the Woodruff family, Honeycutt worked as a nurse in Emory Hospital’s oncology unit and was known as an advocate for patients and patient care. She also was a devoted member of the nursing school’s alumni association. She served as president of the association several times, helped raise money for the school and scholarships, and always shared her time and expertise with student nurses.

Following Robert Woodruff’s death in 1985, Honeycutt retired from nursing but continued to work tirelessly on behalf of the school, and for all that she did, the alumni association gave her its Award of Honor in 1980. Two faculty chairs have been funded in honor of Honeycutt at the School of Nursing.

Emory University gave Honeycutt its highest alumni award, the Emory Medal, in 1997. At the time, she said, “Emory has given me physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual fulfillment.”

She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul, and by her son, Danny. She is survived by her daughter, Dianne McAfee, granddaughter Catherine Clayton, and three great-grandchildren.

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