Born: Jan. 29, 1920
It was love of nursing that convinced Norma Trebing to become a nurse. She graduated from nursing school and went to work at a hospital. She also did private duty nursing. Nursing homes didn’t exist 50 years ago as they do today but that’s where she found her passion.
Not long after Mrs. Trebing graduated from St. Joseph Hospital Nursing School, four local men opened a new nursing home. They needed nurses. By then, Mrs. Trebing had built a solid reputation of being a good and kind nurse. She was approached to work with Florence Galligan as a director of nursing at Hillcrest Village.
Hillcrest Village was opened by Dr. Lyle Havens, Jess Hanger, who owned Hangers Drugstore, Dr. William Clark and Dan Conner, a developer who owned Conner Shopping Center.
“They came to me and asked me to open this nursing home because I knew a couple of them. I had a very good reputation as a nurse and I felt like it was a big responsibility,” said Mrs. Trebing, who is now a Hillcrest Village resident.
“Florence Galligan, aunt of the former mayor of Jeffersonville also came on. “I talked to her and we went into this together.”
Mrs. Trebing’s son said a third nurse also was part of the staff, Philomena Wayne, who now lives in Sellersburg.
Hillcrest Village was the first and remains the only nursing home in Jeffersonville. “Back in that day there was a lot of private duty nursing,” said Mrs. Trebing.
Born in Jeffersonville in an area of German families, Mrs. Trebing grew up with two sisters and a brother in an area known as “Midway,” which was between Jeffersonville and New Albany. She graduated from Jeffersonville High School in 1938. She graduated from the nursing program in 1941.
She married and had three children; two sons (Randall and Robert and a daughter Catherine, now deceased). “I left home at 6:15 a.m. in the morning. My help came in a little before then. I think we started with two patients in a brand new building.”
Her first job was at Clark County Hospital as a general duty nurse. After working there a few years, she was contacted by the owners of the nursing home. She also worked at Jeff Board where boats were built but had to be tested with the accompaniment of a nurse to provide first aide if needed. She began doing private duty nursing and then went to work for the nursing home.
She said she was responsible for hiring staff. I didn’t have anything to do with the office work. I was the head nurse along with Francis Galligan. “I love that work and I love nursing,” she said.
“The dedicated ones, they’re to be praised. You can tell immediately how dedicated they are. How they approach you. Of course no matter where you go there is favorite help.”
“Some people can give of themselves gracefully. And some it’s a terrible effort.” I think they have some very good ones here. Very good.”
Mrs. Trebing is a member of St. Luke United Church of Christ and Tri Kappa Sorority. In addition to her sons, she has a grandson and great grandson.