Kathleen Gillick Bodnar, nurse who decided in high school to find cure for cancer

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Kathleen Gillick Bodnar.
Kathleen Gillick Bodnar.

Kathleen “Kathie” Gillick Bodnar, of Leland, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Kathie was born in Watertown, New York on April 21, 1945, the daughter of the late George Gillick and Kathleen Murray. Kathie grew up in New York City and graduated from Bellevue Nursing School with a bachelor of science degree in nursing in 1965.

She always wanted to be a nurse, and in high school she decided that she wanted to help find a cure for cancer. She began her career as a Clinical Instructor at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in the Department of Nursing Education.

After moving to Northern Virginia in 1979, Kathie worked for three years at Hospice of Northern Virginia in an inpatient unit, when hospice was a pilot program for Blue Cross/Blue Shield. She then worked at Psychiatric Institute of Washington for three years as a nursing coordinator on a substance abuse unit.

She then took a position as a staff nurse at the National Cancer Institute on a Chemotherapy/HIV unit, where she became Oncology Nurse Certified. In 1992, she went to work for the Jackson Foundation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as a protocol nurse coordinator for HIV vaccine trials, which provided training for the next years of her work experience.

In 1995, Kathie moved to Wilmington, where she worked for 11 years for PPD, a clinical research organization, first as a clinical research associate, then as Global Senior Clinical Project Manager, overseeing projects in the U.S., Europe, Australia, Hong Kong and Thailand.

Her final stop before retirement was with 13 Research, where she worked from her home in Leland as a senior project manager.

Kathie retired in 2011 and was very active in the community, as a mentor with Brunswick County Literacy Council and as a volunteer in the surgical waiting room at Brunswick Novant Hospital. She loved all animals and volunteered as a dog and cat walker at the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services facility.

Kathie is survived by her niece Gloria Gillick Hernandez and many cousins and friends. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her brother George Owen Gillick.

A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015 at the Cathedral Shrine of St. Mary on Ann Street in Wilmington.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Kathie’s memory made to either Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center(MSKCC), P.O. Box 5028 Hagerstown, MD 21741-5028 or Brunswick County Sheriff Animal Protection Services (BCSAPS), P.O. Box 92, Supply, NC 28462 would be greatly appreciated.

Please leave online condolences for the family at Coble Ward-Smith Funeral and Cremation Service.

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